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MSP LNC 2011


Connecting the Pieces: Methodology for Developing Student Achievement Trajectories from Different Instruments

Summary

Student achievement data is one tool for documenting the impact of MSP programs on student learning. These data are used to build trajectories of student performance over time. Detecting MSP program impact requires estimates of trajectories both before the MSP begins and after it is in place. While projects implement planned research designs from the start of the MSP, the "before" trajectory requires using available retrospective student achievement data. The data are often less-than-ideal - for example, different achievement tests may have been used in different years preceding the MSP's start. Z-score and binning methodology have been developed to allow estimation of meaningful student trajectories using data from different instruments.