Incorporating Student Growth Measurements Into Superintendent Evaluation

Donna Oser

By Donna Oser, MASB Director of Leadership Development and Executive Search Services

DashBoard, March 9, 2016

When planning for your superintendent evaluation, don’t forget that the system has to take into account multiple measures of student growth and assessment data or confuse these measurements with student achievement data.

For superintendents who are regularly involved in instructional matters—and this includes all but the most exceptional situations—the following specific expectations must be met with regards to student growth:

  • 25% of the annual evaluation shall be based on student growth and assessment data for years 2015-2016, 2016-2017 and 2017-2018
  • 40% of the annual evaluation shall be based on student growth and assessment data beginning in 2018-2019
  • Student growth and assessment data used for superintendent evaluation must be the combined student growth and assessment data used in teacher annual year-end evaluations for the entire district

Student Growth Versus Student Achievement

As noted above, student growth and student achievement are not the same. Student achievement is a single measurement of student performance while student growth measures the amount of students' academic progress between two points in time.1

Student Achievement Example: A student could score 350 on a math assessment.

Student Growth Example: A student could show a 50-point growth by improving his/her math score from 300 last year in the fourth grade to 350 on this year's fifth grade exam.

It’s important to note that, in order to measure student growth, the data considered must be from a single group of students, i.e., this year’s fourth graders and next year’s fifth graders.

What is a Student Growth Model?

School districts should establish a student growth model to be used in educator and administrator evaluations. A growth model is a collection of definitions, calculations or rules that summarizes student performance over two or more time points and supports interpretations about students, their classrooms, their educators or their schools.2

Michigan law requires that multiple research-based growth measures be used in student growth models that are used for evaluation purposes. This may include state assessments, alternative assessments, student learning objectives, nationally normed or locally adopted assessments that are aligned to state standards or based on individualized program goals. (Note: Beginning in 2018-2019, in grades and subjects in which state assessments are administered, 50% of student growth in core areas must be based on state assessments.)

Michigan law also requires that the most recent three consecutive years of student growth data be used for evaluation. If three years of data are not available, available data should be used.

Check out this video from Center for Public Education on growth models:

If you have questions about superintendent evaluation, please contact the following MASB staff:

Superintendent Evaluation and Facilitation

Donna Oser or 517.327.5923


Debbie Stair or 517.327.5904

Legal Questions

Joel Gerring or 517.327.5922

1 Measuring student growth: A guide to informed decision making, Center for Public Education

2 A Practitioner’s Guide to Growth Models, Council of Chief State School Officer

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