Evaluation of the Growth Model Pilot Project (GMPP)

The GMPP is an ambitious effort to improve how student achievement data are analyzed and used to assess the effectiveness of schools and school systems under the accountability provisions of the 2001 reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (No Child Left Behind). NORC’s evaluation of GMPP for the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development built on the experiences and outcomes of the pilot group of nine states approved to measure students’ annual academic progress using a growth-to-proficiency model instead of or in conjunction with the current models based on the percentages of students meeting or exceeding proficiency levels in reading and mathematics. The objectives of the evaluation were twofold:

  • to describe and summarize the implementation plans and actual utilization of the growth models used in participating GMPP states
  • to assess the strengths and weaknesses of using these growth models as replacements or supplements to status and other accountability models for measuring student learning outcomes and school Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP).

The study found that the models approved for the pilot study differ in how they establish growth expectations for students and determine whether individual students are on track to reach proficiency in the allotted time frame. The results of this analysis show that use of growth models will generally add modestly to the number of schools making AYP, but have the potential to help administrators identify schools “on-track” and those that may need help to get or stay “on-track.”

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