Illinois’ plan heavily emphasizes student growth.
The state has given growth a weight of 50 percent of the total (the largest single weighting of any measure). And although assessments are not yet available at the secondary level, Illinois deserves credit for aspiring to maintain an emphasis on growth in the high school grades as well.
However, the state should be careful not to place too much emphasis on growth. The state is proposing to weight growth twice as much as proficiency, and in future years it may count student proficiency at only 7.5 percent in each content area. This approach may take away emphasis on grade-level performance and be hard to convey to the public.
In addition, the state’s plan lacks detail around the specific method it plans to use to calculate student growth.