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Measuring Growth

Photo of student smilingFor individual student history, ACT Aspire reports longitudinal growth and student growth percentiles (SGPs). Aggregate reports for schools, districts and states provide the ability for custom user-defined groups to allow for more flexibility in reporting.

LONGITUDINAL REPORTING

ACT Aspire provides predicted score ranges for the next two years for each of the five subject areas as well as Composite score ranges. ACT Aspire also provides longitudinal score reporting for each subject area, from grade 3 through 10. Scores are plotted over time and viewed alongside grade level ACT Readiness Benchmarks, indicating that students are on target to meet the ACT College Readiness Benchmarks.

STUDENT GROWTH PERCENTILES

In addition to viewing progress with respect to the ACT Readiness Benchmarks, ACT Aspire provides student growth percentiles (SGPs) that describe how a student performed compared to students with the same prior-year score history. The SGPs range from 1 to 100 and growth is categorized as low (SGP < 25), average, or high (SGP > 75). Growth categories and SGPs are included in the Student Performance data file.

The SGPs are developed using quantile regression methods. The reference groups for calculating the SGPs include the national population tested. SGPs measure growth over one-year time intervals (e.g., spring of grade 5 to spring of grade 6). Like all test scores, SGPs are subject to measurement error. This means that a student’s growth percentile does not necessarily reflect the student’s actual growth. Users should not rely solely on SGPs when assessing how much a student has learned in a subject.

For students tested with ACT Aspire in consecutive years, or tested with ACT Aspire in grade 10 and the ACT in grade 11, resources for determining SGPs in English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science are provided here on the ACT Growth Modeling Resources Page.

ANSWERS TO TEACHERS’ QUESTIONS ABOUT STUDENT GROWTH (PDF)

ANSWERS TO ADMINISTRATORS’ QUESTIONS ABOUT STUDENT GROWTH (PDF)

PREDICTED PATHS

Photo of student making a silly faceStudent progress charts highlight predicted score paths, providing a predicted score range for the next two years. It is expected that at least 50% of students will score within their one-year predicted path and a larger share will score within their two-year path.

  • For grade 9, ACT Aspire reports include predicted grade 10 ACT Aspire score ranges and predicted grade 11 ACT score ranges.
  • For grade 10, ACT Aspire reports include predicted grade 11 ACT score ranges.
  • ACT Aspire score reports include predicted score ranges for the English, Mathematics, Reading, Science, and Writing Tests, in addition to a Composite score (for grades 9 and 10).

AGGREGATE GROWTH STATISTICS

For classrooms, schools, districts, states, and other user-defined groups, aggregate growth statistics are available to describe how much growth occurred in each group. Mean scale scores are plotted on longitudinal progress reports and the percentage of students in each growth category (low, average, or high) can be reported. It is also possible to calculate other summary growth measures, such as the mean or median SGP, using the data provided in the Student Results File.

Data from ACT Aspire can be used as one indicator of program effectiveness. Before using ACT Aspire for this purpose, a content review is important to ensure that ACT Aspire measures the important outcomes of the program. If used within teacher and school evaluation systems, ACT Aspire growth data should not be the sole indicator of effectiveness.