SGP Estimation Issues and a Practical Guide to Conducting Valid SGP Analyses

SGPs estimate students’ current latent achievement based on prior test scores by comparing them with other student data from the same time period. Despite their growing popularity, these estimates are prone to errors in the estimation process due to the finite number of items on the tests used and in the statistical modeling (Akram & Meyer, 2013; Lockwood & Castellano, 2015; McCaffrey & Cai, 2015). Moreover, when aggregated to teacher or school level, SGPs can be influenced by factors such as the composition of the baseline cohort, student characteristics, and the design of the baseline assessment.

As a result, it is crucial to understand these issues before evaluating SGP results. This article discusses key SGP estimation issues and provides a practical guide to conducting valid SGP analyses.

The SGP vignettes in this tutorial were designed to be as straightforward and user-friendly as possible. We recommend reading through these vignettes before using the SGP tools in the MCAS Online Analyses System. Each vignette is accompanied by an example. For each example, you will be shown how to use the SGP tool and view the outputs from the SGP model. In addition, you will learn how to run your own SGP analysis on a sample of data from a specific content area and class.

We have also provided several sgpdata-specific wiki pages. The sgpdata pages are designed to help you manage your own SGP analyses on your district’s data. These pages will also provide helpful tips on interpreting the outputs of the SGP model and preparing your own results tables.

In addition, the sgpdata wiki pages include references to other wiki pages that you can visit for more detailed information on a particular topic. This is a great way to get started with SGP analytics in your district.

The sgpData data set contains numerous tables and files that districts can utilize to conduct operational SGP analyses. Some of these include sgpData_INSTRUCTOR_NUMBER, an anonymized lookup table providing instructor details associated with each student test record. This table is especially useful for assigning students who have multiple instructors for one content area to one instructor for that content area.

Another important sgpData table is sgpData_STUDENTS_PERCENTILE_TABLE. This table is an invaluable tool for teachers and parents, allowing them to quickly compare their students’ performance against that of other students across the state, region, or country. This allows teachers and parents to identify whether their students are outperforming or underperforming their peers, helping them to plan for the future.

Finally, the sgpData_STUDENTS_PERCENTILE_TABLE can be used to create an SGP percentile chart, which is a visual representation of a student’s relative SGP performance. This chart can be displayed in classrooms, school offices, and other locations to highlight a student’s performance. The SGP percentile chart can help educators and families make informed decisions about which students to challenge, which students to support, and which students may require extra assistance in a particular subject. Additionally, the SGP percentile chart can be compared against other SGP percentile charts for different content areas and grades to further explore patterns in student performance.