How to Analyze Student Growth Percentiles (SGP)

When analyzing student performance data, it is important to consider how the growth of individual students compares to their peers. This is especially true when evaluating progress made by students with disabilities and other special needs. The most reliable and valid way to do this is through a graphical display of student growth percentiles (SGP). This method provides a more accurate and meaningful representation of a student’s progress than raw scores alone. It also allows for comparisons of different groups of students to highlight where further improvement is needed.

SGPs are available for students in grades 4 through 8 and grade 10. DESE uses multiple years of test score history to generate the SGP, comparing a student’s assessment score to the average of their classmates. This means that for a student, a current SGP can be calculated using up to five years of test scores, including the Badger year.

Educators use student SGPs to inform classroom instruction and identify areas of strength and weakness for individual students. They can then use these insights to develop student learning outcomes (SLOs) and guide district-wide initiatives. The data can also be shared with parents and used as a tool to help communicate student progress.

While SGPs provide a good overview of student growth, educators need more detailed information to better understand their students’ performance and make informed instructional decisions. This is why a new feature was added in the 2016-17 school year that gives educators access to more detailed SGP data for each student. When an educator selects a student in the SGP Summary Report and chooses the “SGP Data” tab, they will see a spreadsheet with information for that student over the course of their academic career. The first column, ID, provides the student’s unique identifier and the next five columns (SS_2013, SS_2014, SS_2015, SS_2016 and SS_2017) contain the student’s assessment score for each of the five years that they have been tested.

The data in the SGP Data worksheet contains a number of fields that can be used for additional analyses. These include the YEAR field, a field to identify the specific assessment that is being used, the student’s PERCENTILE_SCORE and the SCALE_SCORE field. Using these fields, it is possible to create more detailed Student Growth Projection (SGP) graphs and Student Achievement Plots (AAP). These charts can be found in the AAP and SGP reports. The additional fields are only required if the user plans on running SGP analyses operationally, year after year. When importing data into a spreadsheet, it is important to format it in WIDE or LONG format. Choosing the appropriate format has significant preparation and storage benefits. To learn more about formatting data for SGP analyses, please refer to the SGP Data Formats document.