Great Expectations: Mining State Level Data for Baseline Comparisons to Augment Randomized Experimental Designs
Authors: Michael J. Bryant, Kimberly A. Hammond, Kathleen Bocian, Catherine A. Miller, Michael Rettig, Richard A. Cardullo

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5. Conclusions

The significant gains in student achievement within California (and perhaps the nation) regardless of any organized experimental PD highlights the importance of maintaining control groups in MSP projects. The ability to evaluate professional development will be increased by using statewide baselines in conjunction with experimental and quasi-experimental projects.

The legislatively mandated criteria for Adequate Yearly Progress has unintended consequences. These consequences include apparent achievement gains masking substantial achievement losses, and will result in sanctions for virtually all schools by 2014. However, additional indices of growth in achievement can be generated from tests scored on proficiency levels. These indices may be more sensitive to showing the effects of professional development on students at the lower end of the achievement distribution.