Data SGP and Its Importance for Educators

Data sgp is an important tool for educators to use to identify students who may be struggling academically and provide support for them. It can also help teachers understand how well they are supporting student learning, and can be used to make decisions about the direction of their instruction. However, it is important to keep in mind that a single measure of student growth should not be used as the sole factor when making educational decisions. Students should be assessed on a variety of measures, including standardized test scores and classroom performance evaluations.

SGP scores are reported on a 100-point scale, with lower numbers indicating lower relative growth and higher numbers indicating greater relative growth. The scale is adjusted for each year, assessment, and content area to ensure that all students are measured against the same standard. SGP scores are reported in two formats: Window Specific SGP (see next section), which is used to compare or report student growth across windows, and Current SGP, which is used to provide the most recent SGP score available for a particular student as a check-in on a student’s progress over time.

SGPs are calculated using least squares regression models and Bayesian inference to estimate latent achievement trait models. These estimates are then compared against growth standards established through teacher evaluation criteria and student covariates to create an objective measurement of student achievement. However, because estimation errors are inevitable in this process, SGPs should be interpreted cautiously.

In order to reduce these errors, it is important to properly format the longitudinal data sets that are used for SGP analyses. The SGPdata package, installed when one installs the SGP package, includes exemplar WIDE and LONG format data sets to assist with this task. The sgpData_WIDE and sgpData_LONG datasets contain student assessment records in WIDE format, with each case/row representing a unique student and columns containing variables associated with the student at different times. The sgpData_INSTRUCTOR_NUMBER data set contains an anonymized, teacher-student lookup table that provides instructor information associated with each student’s assessment record.

The SGP higher level functions (studentGrowthPercentiles and studentGrowthProjections) work with both WIDE and LONG format data, but most operational analyses are best executed on the LONG format. There are many benefits to managing the SGP analysis system with long format data, which include simpler preparation and storage requirements compared to WIDE format data. In addition, the higher level functions often assume the existence of state specific meta-data in the embedded SGPstateData meta-data.

For more information about preparing your data and using SGP, see the Getting Started with SGP vignette.

In Wisconsin, the BAA Secure Site began providing SGPs for individual students (4th – 11th grades) in January 2016. The MDE is strongly recommending that SGPs are not used for educator evaluation purposes prior to 2018/19, to give educators more time to become familiar with these new results and ensure that they are stable before being used for high stakes decision making.