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SD Department of Education October 2014  

Accountability: Work group recommends growth model

Beginning with the results of the 2015-16 state assessment, South Dakota’s accountability system will include academic growth as one of three indicators that make up the School Performance Index at the elementary and middle school levels.

Since February 2013, a work group of South Dakota teachers, administrators and other education professionals have been studying various growth models to be used as part of the accountability system.

After studying seven of the most commonly used models, the group recommends the Student Growth Percentile model as the basis for the South Dakota Growth Model. This particular model is currently used in several other states, including Colorado and Arizona.

The results of the 2015 Smarter Balanced assessment will be used to set the baseline for growth. Growth measures will first be calculated once results of the 2016 Smarter Balanced assessment are available. In the future, the Department of Education will study whether embedding multiple years of data (up to three) would strengthen the model.

The group recommends that the SPI points allocation come from two measures:

1) The Median Growth Percentile (encompassing all students); and
2) The growth scores for the lowest performing 25 percent of
   students in a given school. This will recognize the work that all
   schools are doing to close the achievement gap for low performing
   students, but will still ensure that the expectation is maintained that
   all students will grow.

The group is recommending that, as with other accountability measures, an n-size of 10 students be used for both the Median Growth Percentile and low performing categories. In the event that the bottom 25 percent is comprised of fewer than 10 students, only the Median Growth Percentile will be used.

The department will develop sample reports and roll out the model to administrators and teachers over the next two years.

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