Student-Level Data Growth Model FAQs (real and demo data)
- Some things look at little different from last year's bubble plots. What happened?
- There are two perfectly overlapping bubbles in my data, so I can only open one of them. How do I open the other one?
- What is Adequate Growth?
- What is Observed Growth?
- What is a scale score?
- Can I play with a version of the student-level growth model?
- Are the CSAP scores from students in a school, district or demographic group reflected in that bubble's position in the plot?
- Are all students with student growth percentiles included in the bubble for a district/school/other group?
- What is the state proficiency line and how do I interpret it?
- How come sometimes there is no state proficiency line in the display?
- Why are some bubbles bigger than others?
- Some bubbles look really small - how many students are in those bubbles?
- How do I find scores for a different content area?
- Why can't I look at combinations of variables, such as 7th graders by ethnicity?
- When I choose to display bubbles for "Other Schools with this Grade," what exactly am I seeing?
- If I check two different boxes in the Explore menu, does it find schools that match both of those criteria?
- The application stopped giving me new data after a while- it just shows the message "loading data."
- What happened to the growth level "fans" for an individual student's growth and achievement history?
- When I'm looking at all the students in a particular grade, there is a checkbox in the Explore menu to show Free and Reduced Lunch students. But it does not seem to work.
- The link provided does not take me to a school's website, it takes me to the district's website instead.
Some things look at little different from last year's bubble plots. What happened?
We made some major improvements to our software in the past year. See this page for a list of all the improvements and new features in the latest release.
There are two perfectly overlapping bubbles in my data, so I can only open one of them. How do I open the other one?
There are two ways to do this:
1. Double-click on the name of the school or group whose bubble you want to open in the right-hand navigation pane.
2. Switch to a different content area or year, and the bubbles will no longer be overlapping.
What is Adequate Growth?
Just as Observed Growth tells us what the level of growth was for a group of students, Adequate Growth tells us if that was enough growth or not.
More specifically, it tells us whether the observed level of growth was sufficient for those students to be, on average, on track to reach or maintain proficiency in that content area. It draws directly on the concepts of Catching Up and Keeping Up that you may already be familiar with.
If you go to the Terminology section of the following video tutorial, you will see a graphical discussion of adequate growth that will help you to understand more fully how it is calculated and what it means:Tutorial
What is Observed Growth?
Observed Growth is the median growth percentile for that group of students. You may hear it referred to as MGP, or simply as growth. We are using the term Observed to distinguish it from Adequate Growth (see next question).
What is a scale score?
Scale score is an examinee's calculated total score on a test. The CSAP scales used by Colorado go roughly from 150-1000 points, although all parts of the scale are not available to all grades. Note that this is different from a "raw score," which would be a tally of the total number of questions on a test that an examinee answered correctly. The use of scale scores makes it easier to interpret test results in many cases.
Scores can also be grouped into achievement levels. Achievement levels are the typical way CSAP scores are discussed and reported, because they collapse across grades and content areas, and because the cut points between them have been validated to have a particular meaning. For example, the label Proficient has a special status because it is the expressed goal of the state that Colorado's education system should strive to at the very least get all its children to this level of performance by the time they leave high school.
Can I play with a version of the student-level growth model?
There is a complete working version of the student-level growth model here. Use email@example.com as your login, and demo as your password. The data are all from real students, but they have been anonymized so that there is no risk of disclosing any private information.
Are the CSAP scores from students in a school, district or demographic group reflected in that bubble's position in the plot?
Yes and no. The bubble's vertical position is the percentage of all students scoring at the Proficient and Advanced levels for that test in that school or district. So, for CSAP test scores, the answer is yes. These are the official CSAP numbers, including all students who took the test and have valid scores.
In the case of growth, the answer is no. Please see the answer to the question "Are all students with student growth percentiles included in the bubble for a district/school/other group?"
Are all students with student growth percentiles included in the bubble for a district/school/other group?
Not exactly. In order to receive a student growth percentile in a CSAP content area, a student needs to have valid scores in that content area from two consecutive years, following a normal grade progression. Every student that matches these criteria will have a student growth percentile calculated, and educators who have access to the data can get those individual growth scores even when they are not represented in a bubble.
The growth level (a bubble's horizontal position in the plots) for a school or any subgroup of a school includes only those students who were enrolled in that school by Oct. 1 of that academic year.
The growth level (a bubble's horizontal position in the plots) for a district or any subgroup of a district only for those students who were enrolled in a school in that district by Oct. 1 of that academic year, or if they were continuously enrolled in that district for two consecutive years regardless of their Oct. 1 status.
Finally, bubbles are only displayed for groups that have 20 or more students with growth scores.
What is the state proficiency line and how do I interpret it?
The state proficiency line is a way of understanding how a particular school's achievement level compares to that of all other schools in the state at that level. A school whose bubble appears below the state proficiency line has a lower percentage of students scoring Proficient and Advanced than the average of all schools in the state.
The line is calculated at the school level. Every elementary school in the state has a Percent Proficient/Advanced level. Those are all averaged together to get the state proficiency line level for that content area.
How come sometimes there is no state proficiency line in the display?
The state proficiency line is displayed when only Elementary, Middle, or High School bubbles are displayed. It disappears when a mixture of school levels is displayed, or in the case of district or disaggregated group bubbles.
In the upper right-hand area of the application window, leave only one school level (Elementary, Middle, or High School) checked, and the state proficiency line should appear. If you drill into the school's data, looking at Student Groups, you will continue to see the line corresponding to the state proficiency line for that school level.
Why are some bubbles bigger than others?
The size of a bubble reflects the number of students included in that group's growth calculation. Note that this reflects a change from the way that bubble sizes were displayed in previous versions of the Colorado Growth Model, which used school enrollment.
Total enrollment can be quite different from the number of students that took CSAP, or the number of students that have student growth percentiles, or the number of students included in school or district growth calculations.
Some bubbles look really small - how many students are in those bubbles?
The application only shows bubbles that contain 20 or more individuals' data. For example, if you work for X school district but you choose to navigate through another district's data, you will never see a bubble that represents fewer than 20 individuals. In this situation a bubble will simply not appear in the display, even if there are some data that could be displayed. This practice protects the privacy of those individuals so that it would be impossible to know who exactly they were through some process of elimination.
If these are data that you have private-level access to (for example, the fifth-graders in your district), then you will still not see a bubble for the fifth-graders if their n count is smaller than 20. You can, however, drill down into the data and see individual growth and achievement scores for those students. Instead of seeing a bubble, in the right-hand navigation pane you will see a list of grades in this school. If you double-click on a grade, you will see bubbles representing the students in that grade, and you can drill down further into each student's data from there.
How do I find scores for a different content area?
The square labels in the upper right-hand corner of the application window toggle between math, reading, and writing.
Why can't I look at combinations of variables, such as 7th graders by ethnicity?
That type of analysis is not currently supported by the Colorado Growth Model application. At the school level, you can only look at one of those variables at a time. For the great majority of schools, there would not be enough students in each of the ethnic groups to make this comparison worthwhile, using the example in the question.
When I choose to display bubbles for "Other Schools with this Grade," what exactly am I seeing?
Other Schools with this Grade shows you bubbles representing that grade for all the other schools in the districts you currently have in your display. This way you can see, for example, how well the 7th grade in the school you selected compares with other 7th grades in all other schools in the district on growth and achievement.
You can display the same sort of analysis at the district level using this application.
If I check two different boxes in the Explore menu, does it find schools that match both of those criteria?
No, in this case the application displays schools that match either of those criteria. In some cases both the criteria might be matched, but the only way to find out which ones that might be is by toggling the check boxes one at a time and keeping track of your targets.
The application stopped giving me new data after a while- it just shows the message "loading data."
Your session probably timed out. For the purpose of protecting the privacy of the individual students' data in the application, after about 10 minutes of no or limited activity the application will no longer grab new data until you log in again. This is a security feature so that unauthorized people cannot access student-level data on unoccupied computers. You will need to close your browser, then re-open it and log back into the Colorado Growth Model application.
What happened to the growth level "fans" for an individual student's growth and achievement history?
Those growth levels have not been included in this latest version of the Colorado Growth Model web application for several reasons.
First, it was difficult to get the programming right so that they displayed perfectly for every user. In some cases users saw cut-off or strangely shaped "fans."
Second, they were confusing to a lot of users. It was not immediately clear what they meant, especially for past years of data. One of the purposes of having the data displayed in this interactive web application was to make meaning immediately apparent, and we felt that the growth fans did not represent this sort of effective communication.
Finally, the concept of Adequate Growth has become more important to our stakeholders, and the growth levels do not directly depict this concept. Some graphical representation of adequate growth may appear in future versions of this application instead.
When I'm looking at all the students in a particular grade, there is a checkbox in the Explore menu to show Free and Reduced Lunch students. But it does not seem to work.
The functionality enabling you to view which students are eligible for free or reduced price meals has been disabled. If you go up a level you can see the level of growth and achievement for these students as a whole, but it was not considered appropriate or useful for most users to know the identity of their economically disadvantaged students.
The link provided does not take me to a school's website, it takes me to the district's website instead.
If a school does not supply CDE with an up-to-date website to link to, CDE substitutes the district's website instead. This generally enables users to easily navigate to a school's website, if there is one.