Student Growth

When it comes to accurately measuring student growth and appropriately attributing that growth to educators, districts often have more questions than answers. The School ADvance support team can provide general guidance and refer users to skilled analysts with extensive experience in helping districts design viable and ethical systems for measuring, analyzing and attributing student growth.  Domain 1 of the Principal and Building Level Leader and the Superintendent and District Level Leader was designed to work with any set of indicators and measures a district adopts for developing student growth ratings. 

School ADvance strongly recommends a multi-dimensional system for developing student growth ratings utilizing multiple indicators of student success and multiple measures.  All inferences regarding a school leader’s influence on student growth should be developed with triangulated evidence and in alignment with the system for developing student growth ratings for teachers.  School ADvance also recommends that student growth ratings be balanced with leader performance ratings based on established high priority student growth goals. 

To use Domain 1 student growth Factors appropriately, users should take the following steps:

Establish a process for identifying which indicators of student growth to include in creating student growth ratings for each evaluation cycle.  The same set of indicators might be used over several evaluation cycles or changed more frequently based on district and school level improvement plans.

  1. Determine what measures will be used for each indicator to be included in student growth ratings. Where state law stipulates specific measures and the weight of specific measures in creating student growth ratings, incorporate those requirements into the student growth rating process accordingly.

  2. Identify the data analysis approach to be used for assessing student growth for each measure.  Where a specific analytic approach is stipulated by state law, follow that approach or use the yield of a state provided student growth rating analytic. 

  3. Where state law allows, use multiple indicators and measures in order to create student growth ratings that are appropriate for a given leadership scope of responsibility. 

  4. The most common way to establish student growth ratings for school leaders is to develop an aggregate rating based on the student growth ratings of the teachers the leader directly supervises.  District level administrators’ student growth ratings should also be based on the aggregate of all district educators’ student growth ratings.  Where districts set high priority student growth targets, teacher and administrator growth ratings may be derived through a process of weighting certain high priority indicators and measures.

School ADvance training workshops provide general guidance on the above points for developing student growth ratings, but the authors recommend that users contact their state departments of education for further guidance and technical assistance.  For information on Michigan based technical support resources for developing student growth rating systems and processes, contact