Data SGP (SGP) is an innovative measure of student learning that equips educators with an invaluable window into students’ progress towards proficiency on state tests. Furthermore, Data SGP gives low performing students something tangible to aspire towards and gives high achieving students something they can challenge themselves against despite current levels.

Students typically require 10 SGP to move forward from their starting point of proficiency on an achievement scale, however this number varies depending on individual needs; for instance, those with intellectual disabilities might require more SGP than typically-performing students who share similar conditions. It’s therefore essential that teachers carefully review all SGPs with their students in order to set appropriate targets.

SGPs are calculated by comparing students’ test scores from one year with those from their prior grade levels using data from two previous years of test history available to us. In grades 4 through 8, this means comparing ELA and math tests taken during that year against their ELA and math scores this year; SGPs do not exist for grade 3 students nor for science exams administered between grades 5 and 8 instead of high school level testing.

One of the major drawbacks to using SGPs is their considerable measurement error at classroom level. A large portion of this variability stems from relationships between true SGPs and student covariates, such as gender or socioeconomic status; or contextual effects which lead to greater or less progress for some than others.

Both issues are challenging to address using statistical models, because attempting to model all potential covariates would be prohibitively expensive and unnecessary complex. Therefore, we employ an approach which only considers the most influential covariates for input into student growth estimates.

This approach decreases the size and RMSE of estimates, thus decreasing it; however, it still requires districts to ensure that their data sources provide quality results.

At this stage, it is critical that data is in a format suitable for operational SGP analyses. We recommend LONG formated data as it simplifies management and allows for more rapid updating when new years of SGP data becomes available.

As part of your efforts to ensure accurate SGP analyses, it is critical that you create a system for assigning students who have multiple instructors within one content area to their individual instructor(s). For this purpose, sgpData_INSTRUCTOR_NUMBER can prove an invaluable asset.