Arizona’s plan places a strong weight on student achievement and growth.
It proposes to include a simple measure of student achievement (percent proficient) and two different measures of student growth. For K-8 schools, 30 percent of their rating would be based on achievement, 25 percent based on a normative growth measure that calculates the progress students make compared to their similarly performing peers, and 25 percent based on a growth measures that tracks whether students are on track to proficiency within three years or by the end of 8th grade, whichever comes first.
Arizona’s achievement measure gives students more credit for advancing to higher performance levels, but does not allow students scoring at advanced levels to fully compensate for lower-performing students.
Arizona deserves credit for designing a system that balances incentives for students to meet grade-level targets and, for those students who aren’t near the proficiency benchmark, to make progress year-over-year.