North Dakota’s plan places a strong weight on student achievement and growth.
It proposes to include a simple measure of student achievement, and a growth model that expects greater progress from lower-performing students. For elementary and middle schools, the state plans to give the same weight to achievement and growth.
North Dakota’s growth model incentivizes both academic growth and academic proficiency. However, the state should consider carefully how it communicates the results to parents to ensure they have the information they need to understand how their child’s school is performing, and how that performance compares with other schools.
At the high school level, the state will weight proficiency at 25 percent, and growth and the “Choice Ready” measure will be worth 22 percent combined. It’s not clear how the 22 percent will be divided, and it’s also not clear how the state will be able to measure academic growth at the high school level if every district can select its own assessment and if the test is administered only once. Given that North Dakota intends to allow high schools to choose their own assessments, it will be critical that these assessments meet validity, reliability, and comparability requirements.
North Dakota includes growth for English language learners as the metric for language acquisition.
North Dakota has decided to use a growth-to-target model for setting interim student-level goals for English-language learners’ annual English acquisition. Factoring in age and grade along with baseline performance data would help determine the most appropriate timeline for language acquisition.