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What is a Student Growth Percentile (SGP)?

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A student growth percentile (SGP) is a measure of a student’s academic growth compared to students with similar prior test scores, or “their academic peers.” While SGP calculations are complex, information can be shared in terms that are familiar to teachers and parents. For this reason, the model is often used in schools.

SGPs are particularly helpful in identifying student growth for students that have received high scores on state assessments in the past, but did not perform well the following year. This is because the model allows us to compare student performance on state assessments with the highest score achieved by other students in the same grade level.

However, the data underlying SGPs is difficult to access. SGPs are calculated by state education agencies using a proprietary methodology that is not publicly available. Additionally, schools that use the model must pay for software licenses and training for educators to use the system. This may be a barrier for districts that do not see the benefit of the SGP model, or that are already investing significant time and resources into other initiatives.

As a result, some schools have chosen not to distribute SGP reports to families and students. However, it is important to remember that the models are complex and that the decision to share SGPs is at the discretion of each district. If a school district feels that the information is beneficial to families and students, it is possible to work with OSPI on training for educators on the model.

SGPs are often used as a form of accountability, and may be included on report cards and school dashboards. While they may not be a replacement for state-mandated accountability measures, SGPs provide an additional measure of student progress that can be used to identify underperforming schools and districts.

SGPs are not only used to evaluate students’ performance, but also as a tool to improve instructional practice and student learning. The SGP model provides a more complete picture of student performance, and allows for differentiation in instruction to support the needs of all learners. This is especially important in light of the new federal standards, which emphasize personalized learning and student engagement. With these new guidelines, it is more important than ever to provide students with the tools they need to succeed. SGPs help us do that by giving teachers and administrators the data they need to identify the best practices for their students. Then, we can support our students in reaching their full potential. Hopefully, this will lead to a brighter future for all of our kids.