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Ohio Data Primer

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Module 2: Tutorial—Where Have We Been? Where Do We Want to Be?

We begin by building a floating-bar graph to compare a school's grade-for-grade reading results. The data to use in these charts may be found in the Enhanced Class Score Reports, the Interactive Local Report Card, or Ohio's Success Portal portal.

To make a floating-bar graph, we first draw lines for vertical and horizontal axes. The horizontal axis intersects the vertical axis at its center, not at its bottom. We add two scales to the vertical axis, each beginning at the horizontal axis. We set the intersection point with the horizontal axis to 0 percent, the top of the vertical axis to 100 percent, and the bottom of the vertical axis to 100 percent as well. Click here to see the example.

The area above the horizontal axis is for the percentage of students scoring at proficiency or above, and the area below is for the percentage scoring below proficiency. We stack the Proficient, Accelerated, and Advanced performance levels on the horizontal axis. Note how the top of the stack lines up on the vertical axis to indicate the percentage of students at or above proficiency. We hang the Basic and Limited/Below Basic levels from the horizontal axis. Again, note how the bottom of the bar lines up on the vertical axis to indicate the percentage of students who are not yet proficient.

We repeat this process after locating the data for other grades. The graph now looks like this.

Now we can compare the performance of the three grades to each other. Steady improvement appears to be the case at this school. The proportion of students at or above proficiency increases from grade to grade. Most of the changes appear to occur as students move into the Proficient category from Basic or from Limited/Below Basic into Basic. The proportions Advanced and Accelerated also show small, steady growth.

Keep in mind that this display compares grades within one year. It suggests improvement, but it is possible that the fifth-grade students already performed better when they were in third grade than the current third graders. To examine the growth the school produced for students, we would need to find the data for the third graders from two years ago and fourth graders from last year—that is, our current fifth graders' actual scores one and two years earlier. The tools on the practice pages will let you construct such a graph for your own students.

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