A study from Stanford’s Center for Education Policy Analysis took an alternative a somewhat unique look at academic performance.
The study examined standardized test score results – but more-specifically, evaluates the ‘progress’ experienced by each academic year.
Simply put: The study asks how much more students know in one grade this year – compared to what the grade before them knew, the prior year.
In other words, it compares 2017 eighth-graders to 2016 seventh-graders from the same schools – ranking them based on the growth that’s experienced over a period of years in a district.
It’s a non-traditional way of looking at performance in education, and put’s a ‘more complete’ product on the table for general consumption when evaluating districts, according to those who support the methodology used by Stanford.
In some cases, it removes poverty as a driver. The study finds that some of the ‘poorest’ districts in the U.S., actually perform better than ‘wealthier’ competitors. It even means that the ‘learning gap’ exhibited early in the testing phase – which is third-grade – can be closed, or reduced due to the long-term quality of education that a student receives in the following years.
Achievement early in the education process doesn’t necessarily ensure long-term, or guaranteed success later – noted the study backers. The findings largely contribute to the notion that traditional measures – evaluating test scores – may not be the best methodology for ‘grading’ the quality of education delivered at a district.
Here are the local findings: