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WISEdash (FOR DISTRICTS) Growth Dashboards

About the Data

Growth reports are one of many indicators that can be used to evaluate student academic achievement. Growth reports help educators, parents, and the public answer questions about student progress over time, and whether that progress is reasonable or appropriate.

Because they can provide a longitudinal view of student progress, academic growth measures add important information to traditional measures that give a snapshot of student achievement at a single point in time. The Department of Public Instruction has studied many different measures of growth and plans to provide student growth percentile reports through WISEdash. Student growth percentile reports, while a useful measure of individual student growth over time, are but one measure. As such, DPI anticipates including additional measures of growth as part of WISEdash in the future.

Student growth percentiles group reports are based on the individual student growth percentiles. Individual student growth percentiles are calculated by identifying the amount of academic progress a student has made on the WKCE compared to students with similar score histories. Students are grouped based on their test score history. An individual student’s growth from one year to the next year is compared to the growth of all the students with the same or similar score in prior years. For example:

  • Simon scored a 300 on the 5th grade reading test.
  • Simon scored a 370 on the 6th grade reading test.
  • Simon’s score changed +70 scale score points.

Considering the students who started at the same place as Simon — a 5th grade reading scale score of 300 — some students had a greater increase in scale scores while others had a smaller increase, or may have decreased. By comparing the scale score changes for the students in the same starting group, we can generate a percentile—a comparison metric—for any selected student.

If Simon’s growth was in the 63rd percentile, then Simon’s change of +70 scale score points was as large as or larger than 63 percent of the students who started at the same place.

An individual student growth percentile is calculated for each student by comparing that student to students with similar test score histories from across the entire state. Individual student growth percentiles range from 1 (lowest growth) to 99 (highest growth).

Student growth percentiles are aggregated using the median measure for the group. The median student growth percentile for a group is calculated by ordering all of the individual student growth percentiles and identifying the median — or middle — number. The median is used as a representation of typical growth for that particular group of students.

When viewing reports for demographic groups, each bubble will represent one of the demographic groups that comprise the report. Bubble size is determined by the size of the group; the larger the bubble, the larger the group. The x-(or horizontal) axis of the graph displays the median student growth percentile while the y-(or vertical) axis displays the percent scoring proficient or advanced on the WKCE. This means that the placement of a bubble indicates the percent of students in that group who scored at proficient or advanced as well as the group’s median growth percentile.


The WKCE exam is administered in the fall — closer to the beginning of the school year than the end. Therefore, DPI attributes the growth achieved between school year (x) and school year (x+1) to the student's school at the time the test was administered for year (x). Student attributes associated with the growth such as the student's disability status are chosen from the latest ISES Year End record for year (x) for each student.

For example, Sally attended 3rd grade at School A for the 2009-10 school year and completed the WKCE exam in November of 2009. School A reported Sally as without disabilities (not IDEA eligible) in their ISES Year End 2009-10 data submission. Before the start of the next school year, Sally moved and enrolled in 4th grade at School B in the fall of 2010. She completed the 2010-11 WKCE exam while attending School B. In the spring of 2011, School B placed Sally in a special education program and reported her with a disability at the end of the year.

DPI calculates Sally's growth percentile for the 2010-11 school year — her growth from 3rd grade to 4th grade — as in the 37th percentile. This growth is attributed (assigned) primarily to her year at School A. Sally's growth would contribute to the Growth by Disability Status dashboard results for each school during the spring of 2012:

School A

  • When filtering for growth for the 2009-10 school year, Sally's growth is not included because the growth year is calculated as of 2010-11.
  • When filtering for growth for the 2010-11 school year, Sally's growth is included as growth from 3rd to 4th grade. Drilling on the Students Without Disabilities bubble produces a list that includes Sally.
  • Selecting Sally from the drill list to view her Student Profile data produces no results. This is because Sally is not currently enrolled at School A.

School B

  • When filtering for growth for the 2009-10 school year, Sally's growth is not included because the growth year is calculated as of 2010-11.
  • When filtering for growth for the 2010-11 school year, Sally's growth is not included because her growth from 3rd to 4th is assigned to School A.
  • When locating Sally's Student Profile through the Student Search tool, Sally's profile is displayed, including her individual growth from 3rd to 4th grade. This is because Sally is currently enrolled at School B and her entire academic history is available to School B users.

Note: Student Growth Percentiles are computed from students' WSAS results and are typically available shortly after WSAS results are made available.


The Measuring Academic Growth Overview PowerPoint presentation provides an overview of the different ways to measure growth as well as specific information about the Student Growth Percentile Reports project.

The guides below are meant to provide assistance in reading and interpreting individual student and median growth percentile reports:

Project Kickoff Presentation

Project Charter

SGP Overview

OEA Growth Information Page