Early Skills Assessment Full Year s Growth & Growth Percentiles

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1 Early Skills Assessment Full Year s Growth & Growth Percentiles Discovery Education interim benchmark tests in reading and mathematics report skill mastery, predictions of subject proficiency, and academic progress on the Discovery vertical scale. Since Discovery's benchmark tests from Kindergarten through high school are all scored on the same vertical scale, interim assessments can be used to set growth targets and monitor student progress during the school year. This document presents research on student performance with the Early Skills Assessments for Kindergarten, grade 1, and grade 2, and examines typical growth over a full school year for each grade and subject. Each administration of Early Skills Assessment classifies student performance into four levels: Level 1, representing the bottom 2% of all students tested; Level 2, students in the 21st to 5th percentile; Level 3, students in the 51st to percentile; and Level 4, or the top 2% of all students tested. The cut scores for these performance levels were established with a multistate sample in the school year and provide a basis for comparison of student performance relative to a large population of students. This research document looks at cohorts of students as classified by the first test administration at the beginning of the school year to illustrate the different growth expectations for lower performing students versus higher performing students. Tables 1 and 2 present "full-year growth" measures for reading and math in Kindergarten, grade 1, and grade 2. The full-year growth measures were calculated separately for cohorts of students based on their performance classification on the first test administration at the beginning of the school year. For each cohort of students, the full year's growth is computed to be the average difference in vertical scale scores at the end of the school year compared to the scores at the beginning of the school year. For example, in Table 1, a student in Kindergarten who is identified as Level 1 in math at the beginning of the school year would be expected to increase his or her vertical scale score, on average, by about 174 points over the course of the school year. In contrast, a Kindergarten student who is identified as Level 4 in math would be expected to increase by about 114 points on the vertical scale. Both tables illustrate that the average full-year growth varies by grade level, by subject, and by the initial classification of the students. After the first administration of Early Skills Assessments at the beginning of the school year, teachers can use the results in Tables 1 and 2 to set growth targets for individual students. Additionally, teachers can evaluate student progress with respect to these growth targets using the scale scores reported by subsequent administrations of Early Skills Assessments throughout the school year.

2 Table 1: Full Year s Growth*, Math Kindergarten Grade 2 Early Skills Assessment: Full Year s Math Growth Kindergarten Grade Grade Table 2: Full Year s Growth*, Reading Kindergarten Grade 2 Early Skills Assessment: Full Year s Reading Growth Kindergarten Grade Grade *Full Year s Growth calculated from average difference from Test P to Test B While the information in Tables 1 and 2 helps establish typical full-year growth measures for students starting the school year at each performance level, there is considerable variation within each group of measures. Growth percentiles were calculated for each grade, subject and performance level in order to provide context within each group. Growth percentiles are measures of how much the student gained within one year relative to other students within the same initial performance level. These values present a more detailed analysis of full-year growth in Tables 3 through 8. Continuing the earlier example, Kindergarten students who demonstrate Level 1 performance in math at the beginning of the school year tend to show, on average, 174 points of growth over the course of the year. Table 3 provides more information about growth in this grade and subject. This table shows that, of students who start the school year at Level 1, the full-year growth at the percentile (better than the bottom 1% of student growth) was only 74 points. On the other hand, the full-year growth at the 9th percentile (better than the bottom 9% of student growth) was about 284 points. Tables 3 through 8 can be used to set criteria for what is "average growth", "aboveaverage growth", and "below-average growth" on the vertical scale over the course of the school year. This document identifies "average growth" as a student's full-year growth between the and percentiles, but schools and districts are welcome to customize the criteria for "average growth". As with the data in Tables 1 and 2, this information can be used by teachers to set growth targets at the beginning of the year and to monitor student progress following subsequent administrations of the interim benchmark tests.

3 It should be noted that the information presented in this document is to provide context about typical student performance on the Early Skills Assessments based on data collected in the school year and to help schools and districts answer the question, "What constitutes a full year's growth as measured by the interim assessments?" For more information about vertical scale scores and growth, please visit the help tab on DiscoveryEducation.com. Table 3: Growth Percentiles for ESA - Math, Kindergarten DEA's Growth Percentiles: ESA Math, Kindergarten Level Level Level Level Kindergarten Math Growth Percentiles th th th 5th

4 Table 4: Growth Percentiles for ESA - Math, Grade 1 DEA's Growth Percentiles: ESA Math, Grade 1 Level Level Level Level Grade 1 Math Growth Percentiles th th th 5th

5 Table 5: Growth Percentiles for ESA - Math, Grade 2 DEA's Growth Percentiles: ESA Math, Grade 2 Level Level Level Level Grade 2 Math Growth Percentiles th th th 5th

6 Table 6: Growth Percentiles for ESA - Reading, Kindergarten DEA's Growth Percentiles: ESA Reading, Kindergarten Level Level Level Level Kindergarten Reading Growth Percentiles 9th th th 5th

7 Table 7: Growth Percentiles for ESA - Reading, Grade 1 DEA's Growth Percentiles: ESA Reading, Grade 1 Level Level Level Level Grade 1 Reading Growth Percentiles 9th th th 5th

8 Table 8: Growth Percentiles for ESA - Reading, Grade 2 DEA's Growth Percentiles: ESA Reading, Grade 2 Level Level Level Level Grade 2 Reading Growth Percentiles 9th th th 5th

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