There's something you might not know about me. I'm a data nerd. My heart skips a beat at the thought of pretty charts and bar graphs. So you can imagine my excitement when I heard that WIDA was putting together some new resources to help districts and schools look at systems-level patterns in their ACCESS for ELLs data. I was even more excited when they let me take a sneak peak at the materials earlier this fall. I couldn't wait until they were released so I could tell you about them. So, here it goes. Buckle your data seatbelts!
The new resources are available for purchase through MetriTech. If you would like to test drive the reports first, you can view samples here. The password is Preview.
After you log in, be sure to check out the fancy new Growth Report User Guide and sample reports. As you will see, these resources clearly took a great deal of time and effort to put together. The User Guide carefully walks you through the various aspects of the data reports. My favorite part is the analogy to the greenhouse plants. The analogy is great for understanding the complex issues around student (a.k.a. plant) growth. I think it will be an incredibly valuable tool for sharing this information with non-data nerds in your district. I also love that student data is presented in a number of ways: bar charts, scatter plots, and data charts.
My biggest concern is how districts will use this data. There is a very important section on page two called "Caveats for Use." In this section it explicitly states:
This report is not intended to be used for:
- Federal, district, or school accountability purposes.
- Teacher evaluation.
- Individual student progress monitoring.
For more information or to order the growth reports for your district, contact MetriTech at 800-747-4868 and ask for WIDA Support. An annual subscription will be $200 per district/school + 15 cents per student. The per student cost is based on MetriTech's calculation of the number of students who were tested on ACCESS in 2013.
Written by: Tammy King
Image: WIDA Consortium