Monday, June 26, 2006

Growth Modeling and Grad Student Training

Not sure when we will get some publications out of this, but we are running a set of meetings between our NSF-sponsored Interdisciplinary Training Program and the Value-Added Research Center. Here is our internal announcement. I'll post content as it becomes available.


ITP/VARC Summer Workshop

The Interdisciplinary Training Program and the Value-Added Research Center at WCER will jointly sponsor a summer workshop on "Growth Models for Adequate Yearly Progress."

When it comes to labeling good and bad schools, NCLB is caught on the horns of a dilemma: Use absolute targets to set the same standards for all schools, or focus on growth to recognize progress relative to student starting points. Until now, NCLB has taken an extreme position by focusing exclusively on absolute targets, which rise at varying rates but must reach 100% proficient by 2014.

Secretary Spellings recently granted waivers to two states -- Tennessee and North Carolina -- to pilot a "growth model" approach to Adequate Yearly Progress. Have these states solved the dilemma of recognizing growth while maintaining absolute standards? That is the question we will consider in our summer workshop. We will also examine the 6 unsuccessful applications to see why they were rejected and whether we like their solutions any better. Finally, we will examine real data from Milwaukee to see how the growth models will play out.

The summer workshop will be held on the following schedule in the 13th floor board room of Education Sciences:

Wednesday, June 7, 12:00-1:00pm -- Introduction: Adequate Yearly Progress under NCLB
--In this session we will review AYP, examine the call for growth models and the instructions to peer reviewers, and select state proposals for study.

Wednesday, June 21, Review of State Proposals and Peer Reviews

Wednesday, June 28, Review of State Proposals and Peer Reviews
--In these two sessions, participants will (a) describe selected state proposals; (b) present the reviewers' critique; (c) present their own critique; and (d) reach a conclusion on how close the proposal comes to solving the fundamental dilemma. As a group, we will decide which approaches are worth trying out with real data.

Wednesday, July 5, Conclusion: Application of Growth Models to Milwaukee
--In this concluding session, we will use data from Milwaukee to carry out the procedures selected in our review of state proposals, and reach a conclusion about the prospects for growth modeling under NCLB.

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