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Ohio Data Primer

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Module 3: Tutorial—Are We Leaving Anyone Behind?

Annual test results and group percentages inform us about the progress of our school and groups of students in the school. However, teachers work with students in instructional groupings based on the accomplishments and needs of individual students. To understand their own instructional effectiveness, teachers must see the patterns of change and growth in each of their students scores as well as group results.

One score for one student is much less reliable (i.e., less trustworthy as an indicator of true achievement) than a group score. To make safe use of one score for one student, we need to interpret that single score in context. This module uses the visual approach developed thus far to build graphs that permit sound interpretation of individual student results.

We begin with the longitudinal floating-bar graph developed in Module 2. Ohio's performance categories capture the performance of groups of students. However, they cannot show the variations in performance of students within each category. Some of the students in the Proficient category may be scoring at the bottom of the category, at risk of backsliding into the Basic category. Those students toward the top of the Proficient category probably are less at risk. Similarly, some students in the Basic category scored very near the top of the category and are probably, all else equal, just as likely next time to be Proficient. Others scoring near the bottom of Basic may be on their way into the Limited/Below Basic category. In fact, it is possible that some at the top of the Basic segment in 2006 were low scoring Proficient students in 2005. Knowing where a student is and was has clear implications for instructional choices or program options.

It is possible to mark the position of each student within the performance category. To see how to do this, click here.

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