Methodology

Sources and Methodology

This page seeks to shed further light on the methods used in Assessment HQ’s data tool and the sources of the data. If you have questions or concerns about the data, or the sources/availability of data, please reach out to us at AssessmentHQ@ForStudentSuccess.org.

What is a proficiency rate?

The proficiency rate is the percentage of students who scored high enough on their end-of-year assessment to be considered proficient – or “on grade level” – for that grade and subject. Research shows that staying on grade level will help ensure students are prepared for success in college and career upon graduation from high school

Where did we get the proficiency data?

All state level proficiency data was sourced from the state’s publicly available online data sources.

How do we calculate trends in proficiency data?

Assessment HQ determines proficiency rate trends over time by subtracting the 2014-15 school year proficiency rate from the 2017-18 school year proficiency rate to determine the increase or decrease of students reaching proficiency. Note: the 2017-18 school year is the most recently available year for all states.

What determines whether a state has “comparable” data?

A state is considered “comparable” if that state has maintained the same end-of-year assessment in grades 3-8 for four years. States that switched to, or created, an assessment they consider comparable are also included in Assessment HQ’s data tool. Note: Some states that have maintained the same assessment are not included due to testing glitches and other circumstances that rendered test scores unusable in a specific year.

Can I compare the data from one state with another?

State data should only be compared or aggregated when each state administers the same assessment. For example, states that administer PARCC could be compared, but states that administer a state-specific assessment should not be compared to another state. Even when a state shares the same standards and assessment, each state is unique and any comparison of scores should be done with care.