Table of Contents

Teacher Value-Added Summary

Understanding the Report

Growth Index

The growth index is a reliable measure of whether students exceeded, met, or fell short of the growth standard. This value takes into account the amount of growth the students made as well as the amount of evidence above or below the growth standard. Specifically, the growth index is the growth measure divided by its standard error.

The table includes the growth index values for up to three years, when sufficient data is available. These values are plotted as color-coded diamonds in the growth index graph at the top of the report.

Growth Measure

Each growth measure is a conservative estimate of the academic growth a teacher's students made, on average, in a grade and subject or Keystone content area. A teacher's growth measure is based on students that were linked to the teacher and the percentage of instruction. Because the growth measures are estimates, consider their associated standard errors as you interpret the values.

The growth measure is calculated differently for assessments analyzed with the growth standard methodology than it is for PSSA Science and Keystone assessments.

See also: Measuring Growth.

Standard Error

All growth measures on the PVAAS reports are estimates. All estimates have some amount of measurement error, which is known as the standard error. This value defines a confidence band around the growth measure, which describes how strong the evidence is that the group of students exceeded, met, or fell short of the growth standard.

For more information about standard errors, see Growth Measures and Standard Errors.

Growth Standard

The growth standard represents the point at which the teachers' students' scores, on average, align with expectations.

The growth standard signifies the minimum amount of academic growth that educators should expect a group of students to make in a subject and grade or Keystone content area. In general, this signifies appropriate, expected academic growth. Simply put, the expectation is that regardless of their entering achievement level, students served by each LEA/district, school, or teacher should at least make enough progress to maintain their achievement level relative to their peers. This is a reasonable target for educators who serve all types of students. The growth standard is represented by a vertical green line in the graph.

There are no individual student measures of growth in PVAAS. This is because there are so fewer data points for an individual student and the error around that measure would be larger, making it difficult to know if a student made growth or not. However, growth measures based on groups of students include much more data, so the impact of measurement error associated with each individual test score is minimized. PVAAS uses many years, grades, and subjects in the analyses. Because so much data is included, the academic growth of the group can be measured with much greater precision and reliability than the growth of a single student. In PVAAS Value-Added reports, a group of 11 students is needed to calculate a measure of growth. In PVAAS Diagnostic reports, a group of five students in any achievement category is needed to calculate a growth measure.


To view the Composite report, select that option from the Tests/Subjects menu. A teacher's composite is a combined measure of tested subjects, grades, and courses in which the teacher received a value-added report. The Composite report displays a 1-Year, 2-Year, or 3-Year composite depending on the number of consecutive years of data available for the teacher. For more information, see Composite.

More Information

Self-Reflection Guide for PVAAS Teacher Reporting

PVAAS Virtual Shelf