Posted on August 24, 2022
Tags: , ,
Categories: aimswebPlus, assessments, literacy, math, STAR

In fall 2020, all School District of Philadelphia (SDP) students in grades K-12 attended school virtually due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and students in grades K-5 took the within-year aimswebPlus Reading and Math assessments while students in grades 6-12 took the within-year Star Reading and Math assessments. In fall 2021, students returned to school in person, and grades K-12 took the within-year Star Reading and Math assessments.

Star includes an additional performance group, and the process of categorizing students into performance groups differs between aimswebPlus and Star. This set of reports compares student participation and performance on SDP’s within-year reading and math assessments in fall 2020 and fall 2021 given this context.

Reading

The first report compares performance and participation on the within-year reading assessments for K-12 students in fall 2020 and fall 2021.

Key findings include:

  • Participation in the within-year reading assessments increased by five percentage points from fall 2020 to fall 2021.
  • Across all student groups, the percentage of K-5 students who scored in the At or Above Benchmark performance group declined from fall 2020 to fall 2021.
  • In comparison, across all student groups, the percentage of grades 6-12 students who scored in the At or Above Benchmark performance group stayed consistent between fall 2020 and fall 2021.

Math

The second report compares fall 2020 and fall 2021 performance and participation on the within-year math assessments for students in grades 3-12. This report does not include K-2 students, because they took an alternative assessment (Star Math Curriculum-Based Measure) in fall 2021 rather than the Star Math Computer-Adaptive Test administered in grades 3-12. Additionally, the threshold for scoring in the At or Above Benchmark performance group in math was raised from the 40th percentile to the 70th percentile between fall 2020 and fall 2021.

Key findings include:

  • Participation in the within-year math assessments increased by five percentage points from fall 2020 to fall 2021 even as the number of students enrolled in SDP declined between years.
  • Nearly all student groups saw declines in the percentage of students who scored in the Tier 1/At or Above Benchmark performance group on the within-year math assessments from fall 2020 to fall 2021. This outcome was expected due to a) the shift from aimswebPlus in 2020-21 to Star in 2021-22 for students in grades 3-5, b) the shift in Star At or Above Benchmark categorization from the 40th percentile in 2020-21 to the 70th percentile in 2021-22 for students in grades 6-12, and c) national declines in student math performance from 2019-20 to 2021-22.
  • White students saw a larger decline in the Tier 1/At or Above Benchmark performance group on the within-year math assessments from fall 2020 to fall 2021 than students in other race/ethnicity groups.
  • Students with an Individualized Education Plan (IEP), economically disadvantaged students, and English Learners saw smaller declines in the Tier 1/At or Above Benchmark performance group on the within-year math assessments from fall 2020 to fall 2021 than their non-IEP, non-economically disadvantaged, and non-EL counterparts.