Rick Miller Advocates for a “Power of Two” Approach to Measure School Progress

February 2017

In reference to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’ confirmation hearing, during which she responded to a question about the choice between using student proficiency or academic growth to gauge school progress, CORE Districts Executive Director Rick Miller writes an op-ed for EdSource in support of measuring both. Miller describes the CORE Districts’ approach to gauging student progress as the “Power of Two”—tracking proficiency with the percentage of students meeting standards and measuring academic growth by looking at student-level progress from year to year. This growth model tracks the degree to which students make progress at the same level as their peers—students with similar test scores and demographic characteristics—to help identify the degree to which schools are contributing to student learning. According to Miller, this approach provides more actionable information about which schools need the most supports and interventions to improve. The CORE Districts are sharing their findings with state and federal decision makers to inform policy.