Skip to main content

Meeting of the Board of Regents | October 2008

Thursday, October 9, 2008 - 11:00pm

sed seal                                                                                                 






EMSC Committee


Johanna Duncan-Poitier


Proposed Interim Growth Model for Title I Accountability


October 9, 2008


Goals 1, 2 and 4






Issue for Decision


              Should the Board of Regents approve the final proposed growth model for submission to the United States Education Department, as required by Chapter 57 of the Laws of 2007?


Reason(s) for Consideration

              Required by State statute


Proposed Handling


This issue will come before the Board of Regents EMSC Committee for approval in October.


Procedural History


In April 2007, the Legislature passed and the Governor signed into law Chapter 57 of the Laws of 2007, which contains provisions regarding development of growth models. Specifically, Chapter 57 states that: 


“By the start of the 2008-2009 school year, the Regents shall establish, using existing state assessments, an interim, modified accountability system for schools and districts that is based on a Growth Model, subject to approval of the United States Department of Education where required by federal law.”


Since the enactment of Chapter 57, the Board of Regents has held several discussions on growth models with experts in the area of school accountability as well as with education leaders and stakeholders:


  • At the February 2008 Board of Regents meeting, Dr. Brian Gong presented information to the Regents on growth models across the country.
  • On February 28, 2008, the Board of Regents and the Commissioner held a discussion on growth models in Syracuse with education leaders including Maria Neira, Vice President of New York State United Teachers (NYSUT); Thomas Rogers, Executive Director of the New York State Council of School Superintendents (NYSCOSS); Timothy Kremer, Executive Director of the New York State School Boards Association (NYSSBA); and District Superintendents Anthony Micha and Jessica Cohen.
  • At the March 2008 Regents meeting, an oral report on the Syracuse meeting was provided to the EMSC Committee, which discussed next steps.
  • During the April 2008 Board of Regents meeting, Department staff presented a discussion item outlining the primary policy questions that the growth model should address; the Board of Regents approved these questions and directed staff to develop the model for the Board of Regents review.
  • At the June 2008 Board of Regents meeting, the EMSC Committee discussed a proposed growth model presented by Department staff.
  • At July and September 2008 Board of Regents meetings, Dr. Gong made presentations to the EMSC Committee regarding the proposed design of the growth model.  Specific topics Dr. Gong covered included:
  • United States Department of Education (USED) imposed constraints on the growth model for use in decisions about

    Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP);
  • the flexibility available in developing a model outside of

    No Child Left Behind (NCLB) for ensuring continual growth for all students; and
  • the use of the High Performing/Rapidly Improving designations as a vehicle for incorporating a “growth for all” component into the State accountability continuum.   


  • In September 2008, the Regents approved the submission of a “placeholder” proposal to USED to meet the October 15th deadline for submission of proposals.
  • In September and October 2008, the Department conducted a series of public forums throughout New York State (NYS) to get input from the field on the proposed growth model.


Background Information


The Board of Regents is committed to having a strong and valid accountability system as a central element of its school improvement strategy.  Recent developments in State statute, federal policy, psychometric theory, and the State assessment and data systems make it possible to consider inclusion of a growth model to enhance the State’s current accountability system. 


              In November 2005, USED Secretary Margaret Spellings announced a pilot growth model project that would permit up to ten states to participate.  In December 2007, after nine states had their growth models approved, Secretary Spellings announced that all states would now be permitted to submit growth models for approval.  On February 15, 2008, Commissioner Mills wrote to Secretary Spellings, informing her of New York State’s intention to submit a growth model proposal to the USED for implementation in the 2008-09 school year.


The Board of Regents has reviewed the proposal that Department staff and

Dr. Gong prepared for the determination of decisions about AYP. This proposal is the first of two key parts of the overall growth model that the Board of Regents will consider, and it is the only part that must be submitted to the USED. It is based on models used in North Carolina, which NYS proposes to use for Grade 3-8 AYP determinations, and Delaware, which NYS proposes to use for high school AYP determinations.  These approaches are aligned with the primary tenets specified by Secretary Spellings for approval of a growth model. (Please see Appendix A for a detailed description.)


              The full growth model will have two parts:


1) Crediting growth by students who are below proficient on the State assessment for the purposes of Title I’s AYP, as subject to the federal NCLB. Only this part must be submitted to the USED for approval.


2) Crediting growth by students who are already proficient or above on State assessments within the “High Performing/Rapidly Improving” recognition program. This part of the proposal does not have to be submitted to the USED, and can be completed after October.


              Under NCLB rules, it is not possible to give school districts and schools additional credit for the growth of students beyond proficiency (Level 3) in making AYP determinations. Therefore, as stated above, the proposal the Department is submitting to the USED addresses only Part 1 of the interim growth model: the determination of AYP.  This proposal will help schools make AYP by giving districts and schools “full credit” for their students who are either proficient or who demonstrate sufficient growth to be considered “on track toward proficiency.”  New York State has created a method for calculating growth in elementary, middle, and high school. (Appendix A explains this in detail.)


              At the September meeting, the Board of Regents authorized staff to submit a “placeholder” proposal to the USED in order to meet the October 15th deadline, but requested that staff continue to gather input from the field on the proposal.  The USED informed the Department that if there are any amendments to the proposal, the Department may submit them immediately after the Board of Regents meeting in October.


              In addition, the Regents made it clear that they want to recognize and encourage the continued improvement of students who are already proficient but have not yet reached the highest levels of proficiency.  This will be Part 2 of the overall growth model proposal. At the September meeting, the Board of Regents charged Department staff and Dr. Gong with designing a model that will go beyond tracking

non-proficient students’ progress towards proficiency.   Dr. Gong proposed that the Department study different approaches that are currently in use and revise the “High Performing/Rapidly Improving” designations that the Department applies to school districts. The Regents indicated that this is a priority and they want to decide on the mechanism needed for this type of analysis prior to the end of this school year. Therefore, this work will continue after October.


              Between the September and October Board of Regents meetings, Department staff is holding six public forums on the growth model in New York City, the Capital Region, Long Island, Western New York (Rochester), Plattsburgh, and the Lower Hudson Valley (last forum, October 15, 2008). Shelia Evans-Tranuum, David Abrams, and Ira Schwartz represented the Department at the Growth Model Forums. Approximately 1,000 administrators, teachers, board of education members, parents, and advocates attended the forums.  At each public forum, a survey was distributed; the tallied results are in Appendix B.  Initial public response to the growth model has been overwhelmingly positive. Of the 262 people who attended the first four public forums, 85 percent said they strongly supported or supported the AYP growth model for elementary and middle schools and 74 percent supported the AYP growth model for high schools. By contrast, only two percent of respondents strongly disagreed or disagreed with the AYP growth model for elementary and middle schools and seven percent strongly disagreed or disagreed with the AYP model for high schools. School district administrators and instructional staff generally said that the inclusion of a growth component improves the precision of AYP determinations, especially in schools with high at-risk populations. The concept of an additional “growth for all” model was supported by 64 percent of respondents and not supported by 11 percent. Respondents who did not support this concept said they were concerned that this might spark competition among school districts for “bragging rights,” and this may have unintended consequences on students, e.g. additional emphasis on “test prep.” People are also concerned about the status of the P-12 data system and the nyStart system; many said they do not believe the system will be able to incorporate these changes so quickly this year.


NYSUT, the United Teachers Federation, and NYSCOSS have endorsed the interim growth model proposal.


              After the October 15 Growth Model Forum in Westchester, staff will compile the results of all the surveys and comments and provide this information to the Regents.


Next Steps:  Growth for All


              As the Board of Regents directed, Department staff and Dr. Gong have started researching prospective models that would enable NYS to move into Part 2 of the growth model: growth for all. Department staff and Dr. Gong have met with staff from the New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) regarding NYCDOE’s progress report system and how this system can help to inform next steps for the State; a follow-up meeting is scheduled for early November. Department staff have also met with representatives of the BOCES that are sponsoring a growth initiative tied to

William Sanders’ “Battelle for Kids” initiative. Staff and Dr. Gong will review growth modeling, valued-added systems, and possible rewards and/or sanctions that are in use nationally, and incorporate the best from them into proposals for the Board o Regents to consider.  Department staff will report back to the Board of Regents in coming months.


Does the Department have the capacity necessary to implement a growth model?


              For the past two years, the Department and its contractors have been challenged to provide schools and school districts with timely and accurate accountability determinations. The implementation of a growth model will add to the complexity of making AYP decisions for schools and districts.  In order to implement a growth model, the Department will need to measure and compare the performance at two points in time for each student and determine whether that student is proficient or on-track for proficiency. Substantial effort and research will be required to:


  • Create and implement specific and explicit business rules, both for how the accountability rules will work and how those rules will be reflected in the necessary computer programming;
  • Review prototypes and final products; 
  • Explain the rules and calculations to the field, and
  • Provide ongoing technical assistance as the system is implemented. 


This system requires a change from working with approximately 700 school districts and approximately 4,400 school buildings to working with 2.9 million student records over multiple years.  The analysis and establishment of business rules will be affected by the size and complexity of the student and school situations and the need to create a system that is both fair and understandable.   As part of this work, the Department and its contractors will have to modify software and output reports so that they can provide information regarding both status and growth.  The Department is assessing its ability to implement the growth model given the budget cuts and hiring freeze that have been enacted since this development process began.


For the reasons stated above, implementation of the growth model will require crucial additional resources.  We are now studying the technical requirements for the growth model to decide how to implement it.




VOTED:  That the Board of Regents approves the final proposed growth model for submission to the United States Education Department, as required by Chapter 57 of the Laws of 2007.




Appendix A


Overview of New York State’s Proposed Growth Model


Introduction and Background


              In April 2008, staff proposed that the development of an interim growth model be guided by the following principles:


  1. NYS's interim growth model should be designed to further enhance the accuracy and utility of State accountability determinations by adding to current status measures a focus on the extent to which students are making significant progress toward proficiency, with a particular focus on closing achievement gaps toward proficiency.
  2. NYS's interim growth model should be designed to best serve the Regents core education goals, while also satisfying federal growth model requirements to obtain USED approval.
  3. The interim growth model is intended to be the first stage of a process that leads, by 2010-11, to the development of a more comprehensive system that, consistent with federal requirements and the requirements of

    Chapter 57, includes a value-added model.
  4. NYS's interim growth model should create incentives for promoting continual growth for all students, including higher performing students who are above proficiency, while maintaining the focus for school AYP on promoting significant progress among the lowest performing students.
  5. The interim growth model should be based on current state assessments and will not require the collection of any new data from school districts.
  6. The first year in which AYP decisions will include a growth measure should be those based on 2008-09 school year results.
  7. The interim growth model should be based on an open architecture; that is the Department will publish exactly how it calculates growth decisions and the result will be a single, clear, unambiguous determination of AYP for each English language arts and mathematics accountability criterion.
  8. The interim growth model should result in additional schools and districts making AYP; no school or district will fail to make AYP due to the addition of a growth component. However, the determination of which schools are designated as high performing or rapidly improving may change as the result of implementation of the interim growth model.


To accomplish these goals, staff proposes to:


  • Submit to USED a “proficiency plus” growth model for Grades 3-8 with enhancements for middle school and high school growth.  A “proficiency plus” model is one in which, for AYP purposes, schools get “full” credit for all students who are either proficient or on track to proficiency. This model is very similar to the North Carolina model which USED has already approved.
  • Require in the basic model that students be proficient within four years of first NYS test administration or Grade 8, whichever is earlier.
  • Initially use two years of test data to establish growth trajectories. Over time, consider using more years of data to establish growth trajectories.
  • Establish growth trajectories only for students who have valid test scores in successive grades over two years.
  • Seek USED approval, simultaneous with the submission of the “proficiency plus model” to implement an “enhanced” Grades 3-8 growth model that:
    • Allows new growth trajectories to be established when students enter middle school; and
    • Allows these growth trajectories to be based on whether students are on track to be proficient on the

      Regents Comprehensive Examination in English and the

      Regents Examination in Integrated Algebra rather than by the end of Grade 8.

These “enhanced” model provisions are ones that the Department believes are consistent with the USED growth model principles, although they are ones that are not contained in the growth models that the USED has thus far approved.

  • Submit to the USED a “value table” model for use for high school accountability in which students who enter high school as Level 1 or low Level 2 students and who pass Regents examinations with a score between 55-64 prior to their senior year will be deemed to be “on track toward proficiency” and credited to schools as students making sufficient growth.
  • Incorporate a “growth for all” measure into the process for identification of high performing and rapidly improving schools and districts. 


We believe that integrating the basic model into our existing system, combined with the middle and high school provisions built into our enhanced model, would give NYS one of the best NCLB growth models in the nation. This growth model will help us move forward as we begin development of a value-added model.


Core Principles of the Growth Models


              The general approach of the “Proficiency Plus Model” we propose is:


  1. If a student scores proficient or above in the current year, include that student’s results in the Performance Index as is done under the present status model. 
  2. Use growth to check whether students who did not yet score proficient have grown enough that it is likely they will become proficient within a designated amount of time. 
  3. For purposes of calculating the Performance Index, give schools and districts “full credit” for any student who either scores proficient or above or who is deemed to be on track for proficiency.


Overview of Grades 3-8 approach:


  1. Calculate two scores for each non-proficient student: the observed growth score (based upon two successive years of data) and the projected growth score (reflecting where the student will likely be if s/he continues to grow into the future). 
  2. Use the projected growth score to determine whether the student would likely be proficient in the future.


Details of Grades 3-8 “Proficiency Plus” Approach:


  • For non-proficient students, annually calculate observed growth score based on the most recent two successive years of data.  Project where that student will be after four additional years of growth, or Grade 8, whichever is less.  This is the student’s projected growth score.
  • Annually evaluate whether the student will be proficient at the designated grade level based upon the student’s projected growth score.  If so, the school gets credit for the student being on-track to be proficient.  If not, the school does not get credit for the student being on-track to be proficient.
  • Make Grade 8 the maximum target for students in this basic proposal, so as students move through the elementary grades, they will have correspondingly fewer than four years projected growth to achieve proficiency.
  • Each student has a maximum of four years of projected growth from the time s/he has an initial growth score calculated; that is, the student must be proficient within four years of projected growth for the school to receive credit for the student’s growth.


Special Cases


  • Growth will be calculated only for students for whom there are two valid scores from the State’s regular assessment in adjacent grades in two successive years.  Students who have one valid score will be included in the accountability system as they would have, without growth.
  • Students who participated in the NYS Alternate Assessment will not be included in calculations for growth; status will be used for these students.
  • Students with limited English proficiency who participated in the English language proficiency assessment only will not be included for growth.


Middle School Enhanced “Proficiency Plus” Accountability Extension


              For school accountability to be meaningful, it must reflect the contributions of the school, or be something that the school can influence.  This Middle School Enhanced “Proficiency Plus” Accountability Extension addresses the following two issues in the basic proposal to make growth relevant to middle schools:


  1. Every student would have a maximum of four years of projected growth from the time the first observed growth score was calculated.  That effectively means that all students who enter the system in Grade 3 have until Grade 8 to be proficient, but as students are promoted through the grades they have fewer years to become proficient. 


  1. There simply is not enough time to make sufficient growth if all students have to be proficient by Grade 8, if they are beginning in a school in Grade 6.  Students in the elementary grades had three years to become proficient; a student whose baseline in the middle school was Grade 6 (growth from Grade 5 to Grade 6) would have only two years to become proficient.


To address these two shortcomings and make growth an equally relevant part of school accountability for middle schools, we propose the following:


  • Students in middle school would be evaluated on whether they made sufficient growth to become proficient by the designated high school Regents examination.
  • For the purposes of this growth accountability for AYP, the designated high school target is proficient on the Regents Examination in Integrated Algebra and proficient in the Regents Comprehensive Examination in English.
  • Students in middle school would have until the target assessment to be projected proficient; the number of years permitted would be based upon the grade the student entered middle school. 
  • This middle school extension will only apply to schools (and their subgroups), not to district AYP decisions in instances where students transfer among schools within a district.


The other aspects of calculating growth scores and incorporating them into AYP decisions are the same as in the “Proficiency Plus” Proposal.


High School Accountability Value Table Model


              The majority of states have not been approved for a high school growth model under the USED Growth Model Pilot.  This is largely because states lack the adjacent grade testing in high school and/or are using end-of-course exams, which lack census testing of students in any one year.  NYS has both of these conditions, but has a strong and respected student-level accountability system built upon its expanded Regents examination system.  NYS strongly desires to extend growth accountability to high schools; this value table proposal is a possible way to do that within the constraints of the current assessment system. Staff proposes that the high school growth model:


  • Allows students who enter high school having scored at Level 1 or at low-Level 2 on the Grade 8 English language arts or Mathematics Tests to be considered on track towards proficiency if the student is able to score between 55-64 on the Regents Examination in Integrated Algebra and

    Regents Comprehensive Examination in English prior to their senior year. For purposes of the Performance Index, schools would receive “full credit” for the performance of these students.
  • Allows schools to have five years for certain limited-English-proficient students, certain students with disabilities, and students who enter high school far below standards to demonstrate proficiency in English language arts and mathematics.


              These two modifications to NYS’s current accountability system will recognize high schools that are successful with newly enrolled low-performing students and will ensure the success of certain students who require an additional year of high school.


              This proposal uses an existing performance level that is meaningful within the NYS context.  Students must score 65 or above on a set of designated Regents examinations in order to qualify for a Regents diploma.  Students who score 55-64 may receive a local diploma.  The model gives schools credit for students achieving a score of 55-64 since that represents significant growth from the students’ performance in Grade 8, and represents a rate of growth that would likely result in the student achieving a 65 or better on the Regents examination if taken at the end of high school.  


An Example of How the Grades 3-8 “Proficiency Plus” Growth Model Might Work


Assume the following, on the Grades 3, 4, and 5 Mathematics Tests, the hypothetical scale scores are translated into performance levels as follows:


Level 1:             Below 620

Level 2:             620

Level 3:             650

Level 4:             690


              In Grade 3, Student A scores 614 or Level 1.  Since there is no basis for making a growth determination, Student A’s status is “not proficient” and his score is included in the Performance Index as a Level 1 score.


              Student A is now given a four year growth trajectory (this is a simplified version of the actual psychometrics that will be employed), requiring that he obtain proficiency by Grade 7.  Currently there is a 36 point gap between the scale score for proficiency (650) and Student A’s score of 614.  If Student A gains 9 scale score points each year, he will obtain proficiency by Grade 7. Therefore, to be on track toward proficiency, Student A must earn a scale score of 623 or better on the Grade 4 Mathematics Test.


              In Grade 4, Student A receives a score of 623 or Level 2. Because Student A is now considered on track towards proficiency, his school will get credit for Student A’s performance as being equivalent to a Level 3 performance rather than a Level 2 performance.  This will raise the school’s Performance Index and make it more likely that the school will make AYP. For example, let us say there are 100 students in Student A’s school in the low-income group and their scores distribute as follows:



Level 1

(0 index points)

Level 2

(1 Index Point per Student)

Level 3

(2 Index Points per Student)

Level 4

(2 Index Points per Student)

On Track Towards Proficiency

(2 Index Points per Student)

Performance Index

Number of Students







Less Number of Students On Track Toward Proficiency















              In the example above, because 1 student who is Level 1 and 4 students who are Level 2 made enough gain to be considered on track towards proficiency, the school’s Performance Index increases from 130 to 136.  If this Performance Index places the school’s low-income group above its Effective Annual Measurable Objective, the school would be able to make AYP for that group.


              Since Student A’s performance in Grade 4 is 623, a new trajectory for being on track towards proficiency will be established for Student A. Now Student A must gain 27 scale score points in three years to be proficient by Grade 7 (650-623=27).  Since Student A has three years to make this 27 point gain, Student A is expected to make a gain of 9 scale score points per year (27/3=9). Therefore, if Student A is “on track,” his proficiency target in Grade 5 will be 632 (627+9=632).


              In Grade 5, Student A achieves a scale score of 630, or Level 2.  Since Student A did not achieve his “on track” toward proficiency target of 632, his score will be included in the school’s performance index as a Level 2 score.  Student A now has two years to make up the remaining 20 point difference, so his Grade 6 target will be 640 to be included in the Performance Index as a Level 3 score.


An Example of How the Middle School Enhanced “Proficiency Plus” Extension Might Work


              To continue the previous example, Student A gained 9 points between Grades 3 and 4, and 7 points between Grades 4 and 5, and has 20 points to grow to be proficient by Grade 7.  When Student A enters middle school in Grade 6, under the basic “Proficiency Plus” Grades 3-8 growth model, there is tremendous demand for the middle school to help the student make up the difference that exists, in part because the student did not grow as needed in the elementary school. 


              The middle school enhanced extension provides a fair incentive for the middle school and holds it accountable for the student’s growth towards proficiency.  In the enhanced extension, the student’s growth target is set four years out from entry into middle school. Thus the student is expected to grow enough to become proficient by Grade 10.


              When Student A enters middle school in Grade 6, Student A is given a four-year target based on becoming proficient, for example, in Integrated Algebra by Grade 10.  Assume that passing that end of course examination has a comparable scale score of 666.  Based on Student A’s Grade 5 scale score of 630, Student A has to grow 9 points each year.  The middle school is held accountable for helping Student A grow 9 points each year, rather than the 10 previously given.


              Department staff is aware of the technical challenges associated with creating a projection model that is based on using the high school end of course examinations. We are engaged in additional research with Dr. Gong to explore the feasibility of using this approach; if there are significant complications, we will use only the Grades 3-8 Testing Program data and use a different projection methodology that ends with the Grade 8 Tests.


An Example of How the High School Values Table Might Work


  •               Assume that Student A, for some reason, makes almost no progress in middle school, and still is a low Level 2 in Grade 8.  The middle school has been held accountable for Student A’s performance.  But how should the high school be held accountable for Student A’s growth? This approach provides credit to schools for students who scored very low in Grade 8 and who scored at least at the level of qualifying for a local diploma. In the proposed high school extension, the high school gets credit if a student who scores at Level 1 and/or low in Level 2 in Grade 8 makes significant growth by Grade 11.  Significant growth is defined as scoring between 55-64 on the designated Regents Examination in Integrated Algebra or

    Regents Comprehensive English Examination.  The amount of credit may be 200 points (indicates on track to meet the Regents passing standard) or 100 points (considerable growth, but not on track to proficiency).
  •               If Student A scored a 56—and thereby qualified for a local diploma—by Grade 11, the school would receive credit for helping Student A grow enough that the school would receive 200 accountability points in the Performance Index. The 55-64 points will be linked to qualification for a local diploma until 2011-12, when all students will need to score at least 65 in order to qualify for any diploma.  However, growth from a low score in Grade 8 to a score of at least 55 on the designated Regents Examination will still represent significant growth.


An example of the value table is provided below:


New York
Proposed High School Performance Points

Number of Performance Index Points


Score on High School Regents Exam

Initial Grade 8 level

Less than 55


65 and higher






















              The High School Performance Index is calculated by multiplying the number of students by the value of their performance and then dividing by the total number of students.  Thus, if all of the students score less than 55, the school will have a Performance Index of zero. If all students score 65 or above, or low performing students make sufficient growth (sufficient growth is defined as students starting at Level 1 or Level 2-minus in Grade 8 who earn a scale score of 55-64 on Regents examinations prior to senior year), the school will have a Performance Index of 200. New York’s goal is that all schools and districts have a score of 200 by 2013-14. It should be noted that the value table is intended to be used only through the 2010-11 school year, when it will be replaced by value-added measures.


Implications of the Interim Growth Model Methodology


              This methodology can only help schools to make AYP.  Any school that is currently making AYP will continue to make AYP.  Some schools in which significant numbers of students are not yet proficient but are moving from Level 1 to Level 2 or from low Level 2 to high Level 2 may be able to get credit for making AYP as well.


Impact on Differentiated Interventions


              It helps in two ways.  First, it allows the Department to distinguish between schools with low status and low growth, which need one type of intervention, and those schools with low status but high growth, which need a different type of support. In addition, it also allows us to distinguish which groups of students within a school or district are not only of low status but also not making growth, which allows for more finely calibrated interventions. As we move to the requirement for all students reaching full proficiency by 2013-14, the ability to measure whether or not a student is on track to achieve proficiency will become even more important.


Impact on the Identification Process for High Performing Schools


              NCLB primarily focuses performance on students becoming proficient.  There is no incentive given for students to progress beyond proficient. However, with the use of growth, it is possible to create a State accountability approach that also holds schools responsible for helping high-performing students grow.


              A school that otherwise would qualify for the State’s “high-performing” rating would not qualify for that rating if sufficient students who were proficient or above showed declining growth such that they were “on track to become non-proficient” (i.e., Level 2) within a designated amount of time.


              In addition, schools currently must have at least three disaggregated NCLB groups to qualify for the “high-performing” rating.  Some schools, while high performing, do not have enough subgroups to qualify.  The addition of growth may be sufficient to provide such schools a “high-performing” rating.


Department Initiatives for the Transition to Value-Added Accountability


              Chapter 57 requires that the State implement a testing and accountability system that measures growth of students at all levels.  With the use of growth models, it is possible to create a state accountability approach that holds schools responsible for helping high-performing students grow.  Department staff are engaged in empirical research to identify the design of the next generation of the Grades 3-8 Testing Program to meet these needs. Staff are reviewing the technical reports from the research and are consulting with the Department’s Technical Advisory Group and Dr. Gong regarding next steps for the scaling properties. To support a vertical scale, staff are researching the necessary test structure; this requires assessing the balance between multiple-choice and open-ended responses and the numbers of items needed to ensure that the tests generate enough data points to support the inferences for this type of scaling. The Department will then issue a Request for Proposals to design and build the new Grades 3-8 Testing Program to be implemented in the 2010-11 school year. Along with test development research, staff are researching prospective value-added methodologies to ensure that the test scaling properties are aligned to the subsequent accountability methodology. Finally, staff are reviewing how to ensure that this approach is consistent with accountability guidelines as stated in NCLB. The ability to develop and implement an enhanced accountability system that utilizes value-added methodology is also dependent upon the revisions that are made to NCLB, Title I accountability guidelines during the reauthorization process.