Comparing Least-Squares Value-Added Analysis and Student Growth Percentile Analysis for Evaluating Student Progress and Estimating School Effects
This paper compares two functionally different approaches to analyzing standardized test data: least-squares based value-added analysis, geared principally to supporting teacher and school accountability; and Betebenner’s (2009) student growth percentiles, which focuses primarily on tracking individual student progress in a normative context and projecting probable trajectories of future performance. Applying the two methods to Australian standardized numeracy and reading test scores (NAPLAN) in grades 3 to 5 and 7 to 9, we find that although they are used differently, the two methods share key structural elements, and produce similar quantitative indicators of both individual student progress and estimated school effects.
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