The Need for Data
With the EVAAS data on growth being released now, curriculum leaders can use this information for evaluation of programs and curriculum. Unfortunately, due to the timing of the release of the growth information, making a change in direction after school has started is problematic.
Instead of waiting, your district could compute NCE Difference growth in July and use this data to gain some insight as to what is happening in the schools and answer some program evaluation questions. Here is an example:
A school uses a math program which is intended to help students maintain skills already acquired and to build skills using a spiral approach. It is an older program and must be supplemented to meet the more rigorous math standards. Overall the EVAAS math growth has been negative for the last few years.
To add data to the analysis, the student NCE Difference scores in both reading and math were aggregated based on the PREVIOUS achievement level. For grade 7 the NCE Difference scores looked like this:
Previous Level Count Math NCE Diff Count RD Reading NCE Diff
1 16 -3.5 16 9.4
2 26 -3.4 19 5.4
3 7 -9.8 10 0.4
4 24 -9.54 31 2.4
5 12 -9.42 9 -7.2
It is worthwhile to note that all of the middle school grades had scores which followed this same pattern, and that there was not a big difference between teachers’ growth who taught these grades. Based on the information, math performance in terms of growth is a problem area. It is possible that all of the teachers tended to teach in “remediation mode” focusing on the students who had scored level 1 and 2. If that is the case, it is still likely that the math program is not meeting the curriculum needs of the students who are scoring level 3 and above, especially when the same pattern is found in all three grades.
Because the district has a historical data system, the district was able to go back one year and examine the pattern of growth. The district found that the same pattern of low math growth in performance levels 3 and above.
Timeliness or Information
Having this information available in early July provides the opportunity to use the summer months to investigate the situation and make changes in the curriculum and materials. This is why having a historical data system is so important for school leaders to make curriculum and materials decisions.
If you are interested in hearing more about creating a historical data system for your district which can provide timely data analytics and reports feel free to contact me at Lew.Johnson@data-smart.net