Data Sets and Their Interpretation
Data sgp is an anonymized panel data set that contains 5 years of annual, vertically scaled, assessment data. It also contains embedded, state specific meta-data in the long format. This exemplar data set models the format of the data that is used by the lower level studentGrowthPercentiles and studentGrowthProjections functions. It is recommended that users use this data set for all operational analyses. It is more manageable than the WIDE data set and all higher level functions are designed to work with it.
Dataset sgp contains an aggregated record for each student in the sample. This record is a vector of (student, instructor) pairs. Each pair represents a test score for a particular section of the exam. The record is coded to indicate whether the student has made progress. This is an important concept because it indicates the degree to which a student has improved his or her performance on a particular part of the examination. This value is then compared to the average for the sample. If the value is low, then the student has not made progress. If the value is high, then the student has made progress.
When interpreting aggregated SGP as indicators of teacher effectiveness, the important consideration is how much variation in student progress is due to individual-level differences. While it is impossible to avoid all such variations, a value-added model that regresses the student test scores on teacher fixed effects, prior test scores and student background variables should eliminate this source of variance. However, it is possible that aggregating SGPs to the classroom or school level will result in an additional source of variance that is not eliminated by this type of modeling approach.
In addition, aggregated SGPs will tend to be more volatile than individual student record data because students with different previous achievement levels have different growth rates. This is problematic if SGPs are intended to serve as indicators of educator effectiveness because it means that equally proficient educators serving students with different prior achievement levels will produce systematically differing SGPs.
Moreover, it is not clear that the increased volatility of aggregated SGPs will outweigh the benefits of their added transparency and interpretability. In conclusion, the trade-offs between the benefits of aggregated SGPs and the costs of their resulting volatility should be carefully considered.
This article is provided by sgpdata. For more information, visit sgpdata’s website.
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