Families Benefit from Transparency About Student Growth

Families with children have a lot on their plates these days. Soccer practice, homework help, dinner, etc. Parents are expected to be more involved with their children’s education than ever, but often times lack the necessary information to do so. Fortunately, some schools are shifting to a student growth mindset that could have a positive impact for families.

Fear not, dear reader! We are here to help you understand what student growth means for you and your family.

What is Student Growth?

First thing’s first. What the heck is student growth, anyway?

Student growth shows you how your child is learning. The information will highlight the amount that your child has grown between two points in time. For example, the data might show how much your child has grown between the fall and spring of the same academic year.

Why is my school talking about Student Growth?

In December of 2015, the Federal Government signed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) into law, replacing the No Child Left Behind Act.

The new law requires states to develop accountability systems to measure how well schools are serving our students. These systems focus on criteria such as proficiency on state tests, English-language proficiency, and can also include growth on standardized local tests.

As a result of the law, throughout the nation, states such as Illinois have begun incorporating student growth data into teacher and principal evaluation systems.

The new federal law recognizes that student growth is what is important for our children and emphasizes that accordingly.

Wasn’t my child always learning? Why is there such an emphasis now?

You are absolutely right. Measuring growth is about measuring student learning. Educators are continuing to focus on that learning, but now that learning can be quantified in an attempt to make student growth more transparent. This new information will allow your family’s teachers to focus their efforts on the specific areas where your child needs them the most.

As schools move to make learning more transparent, families should benefit by being able to better understand where their child needs to focus to continue learning and growing.