What can I learn from the Diagnostic graphs and reports?
The diagnostic view is designed help you identify areas of Common Core weakness and strength at the individual student level as well as the classroom and grade level.
The Track My Progress diagnostic can also help you determine the nature of difficulties that the student or class might have, which, if undiagnosed, could limit engagement or progress in new learning. The Track My Progress diagnostic view also provides you with a beginning point for developing a suitable intervention plan for your at-risk students.
The first step in identifying learning gaps in student diagnostic data is defining the size of a meaningful gap in terms of scale score points. For example, if a grade two student scores 670 for Geometry and 660 for Operations, is that difference in domain scores a meaningful difference? In other words, should we be concerned that one score is 10 scale score points lower than another?
Track My Progress uses the following criteria to define a meaningful learning gap between the highest scoring and lowest scoring domains:
- A learning gap that is at least 1/3 of a year's learning is classified as borderline.
- A learning gap that is at least 1/2 of a year's learning is classified as at-risk.
The average scale score progress for a school year varies by grade level. You can use the table below to determine the yearly progress for each grade level.
For the example above we do not classify the 10 point scale score difference between Geometry and Operations domain scores as a difference of concern. For grade 2 the borderline classification requires a 27 scale score difference. When a statistically meaningful learning gap is identified, you can review previous test events to see if the learning gap can be confirmed with additional data points.
Diagnostic data at the group level
The School Administrator interface provides a diagnostic view at the grade level. This allows you to analyze the Common Core Math and Reading strengths and weaknesses for all students in a grade. In the example below we see the diagnostic graph for all grade four students in a school, and can also see that there are no major learning gaps at this level of analysis. The largest gap is 17 scale score points between Fractions and Geometry. If we did find a specific domain that was meaningfully lower than the other domains we could examine our curriculum, pacing guides and professional development to see if students are receiving enough support in that area.
Below is an example of a diagnostic view of classroom data. Here the diagnostic clearly indicates that there are two domains that are well-below the other domains and subject. The Operations and Fractions domains are 33 scale score points below the Base Ten domain. Operations and Fractions are also well below all of the reading domains. This suggests that the students in this class need additional instruction and practice with the Operations and Fractions domains. This is particularly important with Common Core math instruction as each domain depends on proficiency with the other domains. It can be hard for students to progress further with Measurement, for example, as it includes application of Fraction and Base Ten concepts.
When comparing math and reading scores it is important to recognize that these are separate test events from separate days. For example, it is possible the math test was given first thing on a Tuesday morning while the reading test was administered on a Friday afternoon. When possible, it is best to confirm between-domain and between-subject differences over multiple data points.
Diagnostic data at the student level
Track My Progress diagnostic data at the student level can serve several purposes. For all students the diagnostic data provides a quick overview of the student's current status with the Common Core Standards for reading and math. In a team meeting or a parent-teacher conference the diagnostic view for a student provides everyone with a quick overview of how the student has been progressing. Additionally, the data can be viewed over time by clicking through the progression of testing windows at the top of the graph to see how the profile changes and responds to interventions.
The below diagnostic graph shows a student who is struggling but does not demonstrate meaningful learning gaps. Using the same criteria as described above, we see that this grade two student does not have any learning gaps in the 27 to 41 scale score point range. A math intervention could still focus on the weakest domains of Measurement and Geometry. But the difference in the scores of those two domains and the higher scores for Operations and Base Ten does not meet the threshold for a meaningful difference. For reading the low domain score of 497 is not meaningfully different from the scores for the Informational and Foundational domains.
In the diagnostic graph below we have a student who does have meaningful gaps between domain scores. The grade one criteria for a meaningful learning gap between domain scores ranges from 33 to 50 scale score points. Below you will find a 61 scale score difference between the Base Ten domain and the Measurement domain. In reading you will find a 53 scale score difference between the Literature domain and the Informational domain. This student has relative weaknesses in Base Ten for math and Literature for reading and could receive additional opportunities in those domains as those scores lag the highest domain scores by more than one-half of a year of learning.