Student-Growth Measures


Student-growth measures compare the relative change in a student’s performance on a specific test with the performance of all other students on that same test. The scores of all students are used to create an “index of student growth” and to identify a median achievement score that can be used as a point of comparison for all student scores—i.e., some students will show growth that is greater than the median, while others will show growth that is lower than the median.

The terms student-growth measures and student-growth percentiles are sometimes used interchangeably with value-added measures, but the two approaches are technically quite different. In contrast with value-added measures, student-growth measures do not attempt to control for outside factors that may influence a student’s relative improvement on a test, such as individual ability, family income, or the educational attainment of parents, for example.

For a more detailed discussion, including relevant reforms and debates on the topic, see value-added measures.