Rotarians hear of new Georgia Student Growth Model

Published 9:30 pm Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Assistant Superintendent of Decatur County Schools, Dr. April Aldridge, made an effort to explain the new method for measuring student growth and achievement being implemented this year in local schools as well as state-wide.
She began be saying, “It’s changing the way we look at student growth and it is complicated.”
No longer are they just looking at the scores students achieve on the CRCT and EOCT, but more on how an individual student’s scores demonstrate that student’s growth relative to other students with similar prior achievement. It looks at the different measures of growth and measures the actual growth the child achieved in one year compared to that of others in the same bracket.
Aldridge said a typical growth rate is 36-65 percent and not only measures the student growth, but serves as an assessment tool for teachers and the school system as a whole.
Students are tested on five subjects beginning with the CRCT in 3rd grade. They are tested again in 4th grade and the percentiles are looked at after two years of CRCT testing. New reports are going home to parents of students from grades 5 to 12.
The forms don’t look anything like grade reports of the past. They do include explanations on how to interpret the Georgia Student Growth Model report.
Student growth percentiles range from 1 for the lowest growth to 99 (highest growth). For example, a 5th grade reading SGP of 60 would mean that the student grew more than 60 percent of the 5th grade students with a similar history of reading achievement. The SGP takes into consideration where the student started when describing how much growth he or she demonstrated.
Aldridge said the GSGM will provide student level diagnostic information with the goal of improving teaching and learning and enhancing accountability. “It serves as one of multiple indicators of education effectiveness,” explained Aldridge. She said that next year 50 percent of a teacher’s evaluation will be based on the student growth percentages. It will determine what is quality education in the classroom, and what isn’t. “It will frame education in the years to come,” she predicted.
Photo by Carolyn Iamon
Dr. April Aldridge, assistant superintendent of Decatur County Schools, spoke to Rotary this week about the new method of evaluating student growth. She was introduced by BHS Principal, Tommie Howell.

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