NWEA Researchers Share Advances in Growth Modeling; Present on Social-Emotional Learning and ESSA, Value-Added Models, Summer Learning Loss at March National Conferences

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Presentations at Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness in DC on March 2nd and Association for Education Finance and Policy in Portland on March 16th

NWEA Research

Researchers from NWEA, the not-for-profit assessment solutions provider, will be presenting at two prestigious education conferences in March: the Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness (SREE) Spring 2018 Conference in Washington, D.C., and the Association for Education Finance and Policy (AEFP) 43rd Annual Conference in Portland, Ore.

At SREE on Friday March 2nd at the Park Hyatt Hotel in Washington, D.C., three NWEA researchers will present on "Prioritizing Growth But Underutilizing Growth Scales:
Implications of Advances in Growth Modeling for Educational Policy and Practice

  • Yeow Meng Thum, Ph.D. presents Modeling Growth by Adding Curves: The Compound Polynomial for Seasonal Time-Series, showing that Compound Polynomial (CP) curves are surprisingly flexible in form and thus provide a better fit to seasonal or cyclical trends typically observed in MAP Growth data. The CP represents a new approach to parametric curve fitting, with clear improvements over conventional growth functions and leads to improved MAP Growth norms.
  • Megan Kuhfeld, Ph.D. presents Summer Learning Loss and Student Learning Trajectories. Using the Compound Polynomial to describe student achievement trends, this research examines patterns of summer learning loss across students and schools with a longitudinal analysis of student academic growth across grades 3-8. The study examines the degree to which summer learning loss is associated with students' academic trajectories, investigates the role that schools play in the occurrence of summer learning loss, and explores whether minority students are more likely to experience summer learning loss than non-minority students.
  • James Soland, Ph.D. presents Estimating School Value-Added Using a Student Growth Model: Implications for Practice and Policy. The research explores using value-added models (VAM) to help understand long-term contributions of schools to student learning. This finding suggests that when considering VAMs as low-stakes tools for educators, rather than high stakes accountability measures, they have untapped potential as data to inform practice.

At AEFP on Friday March 16th at the Hilton Portland & Executive Towers in Portland, James Soland, Ph.D. will discuss ESSA: Design and Implementation Issues with the presentation Can Student Behavior on Achievement Tests Help Measure Social-emotional Learning? Evidence from the OECD Test for Schools (PISA). The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) provides states with flexibility to include social-emotional learning (SEL) and other non-academic measures of student learning in their accountability plans. This research examines whether achievement test metadata can provide information on students' SEL competencies, and more accurate information than student surveys which suffer from self-report bias. The results suggest that student behaviors on achievement tests may provide unobtrusive, cost-effective data that can be used to safeguard against self-report bias when measuring SEL competencies.

NWEA maintains a research division, with a team of 40 psychometricians and research scientists, that conducts wide-ranging and independent research of K-12 education topics, including student engagement, equity, gender bias, early learning, and literacy.

About NWEA
NWEA® is a mission-driven, not-for-profit organization that supports students and educators worldwide by creating assessment solutions that precisely measure growth and proficiency-and provide insights to help tailor instruction. For 40 years, NWEA has developed innovative Pre-K-12 assessments, professional learning that fosters educators' ability to accelerate student learning, and research that supports assessment validity and data interpretation. Educators in 140 countries and more than half the schools in the US rely on our flagship interim assessment, MAP® Growth™; our progress monitoring and skills mastery tool, MAP® Skills™; our reading fluency and comprehension assessment, MAP® Reading Fluency™; and the OECD Test for Schools (based on PISA). Visit - NWEA.org to find out how NWEA can partner with you to help all kids learn.

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Jessica Hahn
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