CGM Video Guide:

Video Guide
Colorado Growth Model – Part 1 “A New Model”

Directions: Complete this guide-sheet as you watch the video titled ‘Introducing Colorado’s Growth Model’. Bring this completed guide to the 3rd class session.

1) Write the three introductory “new” questions about student evaluation.
  1. a. How do we know if students and schools are making enough progress?

  1. b. What needs to be done to meet goals and standards within required time frames?

  1. c. How do we close achievement gaps between different students?

2) Summarize the analogy used to explain the shift in thinking about how students are evaluated (Maya and Emma)
This video explains the way Colorado wishes to measure student achievement data by using an analogy of two high jumpers. This year, Maya was able to clear a 44” high bar, while Emma was only able tp clear a 41” bar. Traditionally, these individuals would be compared by their performance relative to one another. However, Colorado wants to implement the Colorado Growth Model to change the way we measure students. This model uses a comparison of the individual to themselves in order to measure their growth over time, and then looks at data for the student’s previous performance and students who performed similar at that time, and measures how this individual’s growth compares to those other students who were performing the same as this student a year ago. For example, last year Emma cleared 36” and Maya cleared 44”. Considering this data, it is clear that although Emma was not able to just as high as Maya this year, she has made much more individual improvement in her height since last year than Maya. In order to get a better idea of how Emma compares relative to her peers, they would find all of the other jumpers who jumped 36” last year and compare Emma’s growth over a year to theirs over a year. This would give Emma a ranking of relative achievement in high jumping. So even though Emma only jumped 41” and Maya jumped 44”, Emma’s ranks in the 66th percentile for relative achievement growth, whereas Maya ranks in the 22nd percentile. This is the type of evaluation that the Colorado Growth Model wants to make about its students. It wants to measure achievement over time in order to create individualized expectations and plans in order to optimize each student’s acadenmic development.

3) What does the narrator mean when he states that “we are taking a longer view”?
By this, the narrator means that we are looking at student achievement over time, not just at one point in time. We want to assess longitudinal growth, not a single data point for student achievement.

4) How is a growth percentile determined?
A student’s growth percentile is determined by comparing their growth over time to the growth of students who scored similarly to that student last time achievement was assessed. The percentile rank is given based on the student’s growth relative to peers’ growth that scored the same last time.

5) What implications does this method of evaluating students have for proficient and advanced students?
This type of evaluation method implies that even if students score at proficient or advanced achievement levels, this does not necessarily mean that the student is improving over time. Growth over time must be measured in order to really determine how much the student has improved, and what supports may need to change in order to help increase individual improvement growth.

6) What does it mean that the Colorado Legislature has deemed the Colorado Growth Model to be the “Cornerstone of Accountability”?
The reason the growth model is considered to be the “Cornerstone of Accountability” is because it dThe ioes not superficially assess student achievement that would simply see a “proficient” score and be satisfied with that. The longitudinal assessment of individual student growth leaves educators more accountable for supporting every student to continue to develop academically, despite what proficiency level they are currently testing in. Growth-based assessments motivate educators to strive for student growth – the growth is the goal, not the single test score. Growth should happen no matter what students’ test scores are.

7) What do you think are the implications of this model for teachers in Colorado?
This implies that teachers are now held responsible for individual student growth over time, not simply who can get the most students in their class to score proficient or above. It’s who can get the most students in their class to improve the most since last year, no matter how high the students scored last year. Teachers will be responsible for providing more inclusive and diverse instruction in order to meet the growth needs of every student in their classroom.

8) What does the narrator state are the 3 essential questions about student performance?
  1. a. What is?

  1. b. What should be?

  1. c. What could be?

9) Return to the SchoolView page of the Colorado Growth Model website and explore the information about your partner school. Make notes below and include the information in your school-level data.
According to the school view for Aspen Creek k-8 (Middle), in math, Aspen Creek Middle Level is achieving at a relatively high level (in the 66th percentile), but they demonstrate a growth percentile of 45%. This shows that although they achieve at higher levels than other schools in the district, they are not growing as much as similar schools in Boulder Valley School District. In reading, they are in the 88th achievement percentile, but only in the 50th growth percentile. Finally, in writing, they are in the 67th percentile, but only in the 42nd percentile. This shows that overall, although Aspen Creek is achieving at high levels, they are not growing as much as similar schools in the district. Good thing our school is focusing a lot on differentiation and inclusion this year…

Information I gathered about the Council for Exceptional Children:

Council for Exceptional Children

The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC)

2900 Crystal Drive, Suite 1000

Arlington, VA 22202-3557

Toll-free: 866/509-0218

Local: 703/620-3660

TTY: 866/915-5000

FAX: 703/264-9494


The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) is the largest international professional organization dedicated to improving the educational success of individuals with disabilities and/or gifts and talents. CEC advocates for appropriate governmental policies, sets professional standards, provides professional development, advocates for individuals with exceptionalities, and helps professionals obtain conditions and resources necessary for effective professional practice.
Services Provided
  • Professional development opportunities and resources
  • 17 divisions for specialized information
  • Journals and newsletters with information on new research findings, classroom practices that work, federal legislation, and policies
  • Conventions and conferences
  • Special education publications

Teachers, administrators, students, parents, paraprofessionals, related support service providers.
Population Served

All aspects of the education and development of students with disabilities and/or those who are gifted.
Gathered on 9/11/11 from