The SDP Toolkit for Effective Data Use is a resource guide for education agency analysts who collect and analyze data on student achievement. Completing the toolkit produces a set of basic, yet essential, human capital and college-going analyses that every education agency should have as a foundation to inform strategic management and policy decisions.
An important assumption underlying meaningful comparisons of scores in rater-mediated assessments is that measurement is commensurate across raters. When raters differentially apply the standards established by an instrument, scores from different raters are on fundamentally different scales and no longer preserve a common meaning and basis for comparison. In this study, we developed a method to accommodate measurement noninvariance across raters when measurements are cross-classified within two distinct hierarchical units. We conceptualized random item effects cross-classified graded response models and used random discrimination and threshold effects to test, calibrate, and account for measurement noninvariance among raters. By leveraging empirical estimates of rater-specific deviations in the discrimination and threshold parameters, the proposed method allows us to identify noninvariant items and empirically estimate and directly adjust for this noninvariance within a cross-classified framework. Within the context of teaching evaluations, the results of a case study suggested substantial noninvariance across raters and that establishing an approximately invariant scale through random item effects improves model fit and predictive validity.
Fulton County Schools (FCS) partnered with SDP to produce the SDP College-Going and Human Capital Diagnostic for its district. The diagnostics are meant to demonstrate how districts can capitalize on existing data to understand its current performance, set future goals, and strategically plan responses. The College-Going Diagnostic report illuminates students’ enrollment over time and compares these patterns across a variety of student characteristics and academic experiences. The Human Capital Diagnostic report investigates teacher effectiveness with the intention of informing district leaders about patterns of teacher effectiveness and identifying areas for policy change that could leverage teacher effectiveness to improve student achievement.