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Accountability Update: Top-to-Bottom. Alexander Schwarz Office of Psychometrics, Accountability, Research and Evaluation Michigan Department of Education. Top-to-Bottom (TTB) List. Used as measure of accountability U.S. Department of Education

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accountability update top to bottom

Accountability Update: Top-to-Bottom

Alexander Schwarz

Office of Psychometrics, Accountability, Research and Evaluation

Michigan Department of Education

top to bottom ttb list
Top-to-Bottom(TTB) List

Used as measure of accountability U.S. Department of Education

Schools ranked from 99 to 0 on student performance

Schools held accountable:

  • Achievement
  • Improvement
  • Achievement Gap
  • Graduation (high schools only)
top to bottom ranking
Top-to-Bottom Ranking

Reward: highest performing,

greatest progress,

Beating-the-Odds (BTO) schools

Focus: largest achievement gaps

Priority: lowest performing schools

top to bottom changes in 2013
Top-to-Bottom Changes in 2013
  • Highest four, five, or six year graduation rate used
  • z-score values are capped to -2 and +2
  • Scorecard performance impacts Top-To-Bottom Priority and Focus categories
components of ttb
Components of TTB

Each component applies to each subject for a school:

  • Achievement
  • Improvement in achievement over time
  • Achievement gap measure between top scoring 30% of students versus the bottom scoring 30% of students

Individual components tell schools something about their overall performance and can be used for diagnostic purposes

which schools receive a ranking
Which schools receive a ranking?

Schools with 30 or more full academic year (FAY) students in the two most recent years in at least two state-tested content areas

Some schools do not receive a ranking if they:

  • Have too few FAY students
  • Only have one year of data
  • Have a grade span that does not include two tested areas
grade span difference
Grade Span Difference
  • For Mathematics and Reading in grades 3-8, testing every year allows us to calculate improvement in achievement based upon individual student performance level change
  • All other subjects and grades use a slope calculation based upon cohorts of students
what about reconfigured schools
What about reconfigured Schools?
  • A school must change by four or more grades in order to get a new code
    • Example: A K-2 building becoming a K-6 building
    • New codes are NOT granted when a school is reopened as a charter, for example
  • If not, the school retains the old code and continues to have data “point” to it from all students for whom that code is their feeder school
why do we use z scores
Why do we use z-scores?
  • z-scores are a standardized measure that help compare individual student (or school) data to the state average data (average scores across populations)
  • z-scores “level the playing field” across grade levels and subjects
  • Each z-score corresponds to a value in a normal distribution. A z-score will describe how much a value deviates from the mean
  • z-scores are used throughout the ranking to compare a school’s value on a certain component to the average value across all schools
z score cheat sheet
z-Score “Cheat Sheet”

Student z-score =

(Student Scale Score) – (Statewide average of scale scores)

Standard Deviation of Scale Score

School z-score=

(School Value) – (Statewide average of that value)

Standard deviation of that value

z-score Summary PowerPoint and Business Rules-,4615,7-140-37818_56562---,00.html

modifications to 2012 2013 top to bottom
Modifications to 2012-2013 Top-to-Bottom
  • Based upon feedback from the field
  • Concern with outliers having an inordinate impact on the identification of focus schools
  • Modified all student level scores
    • Normalize all student z-score distributions
    • Cap all student z-score distributions at -2 on the lower end and at +2 on the upper end
2012 2013 focus school status
2012-2013 Focus School Status
  • Prohibit from appearing on the focus list any schools as defined by both of the following:
    • The school’s bottom 30% group proficiency rate is higher than the state average proficiency rate in at least two subject areas
    • The school’s top to bottom percentile rank is at least 75
good getting great
  • Applied in 2012-2013 Accountability Cycle
  • Prohibit from appearing on the focus list any schools as defined by both of the following:
    • The school’s bottom 30% group meets the safe-harbor requirement in all applicable subject areas as determined in the Accountability Scorecard
    • The school’s top to bottom percentile rank is at least 75
overview of ranking results
Overview of Ranking Results
  • 2798 Schools ranked
  • 137 Priority Schools
    • 52 new schools
    • 85 first designated as Priority in previous cohorts
  • 349 Focus Schools
  • 342 Reward Schools
characteristics of priority schools
Characteristics of Priority Schools
  • High schools not more likely to be Priority Schools
    • E/MS schools make up a higher proportion now
  • Percent of students in school who are LEP  no strong relationship with Priority Status
  • Percent of students SWD  related to Priority Status (as % SWD increases, so does number of Priority Schools)
  • Very strongly related to economic disadvantage
    • 73% of our Priority Schools in the 2013 cohort are high economic disadvantage (over 75% of students ED) compared with 18% of the state
  • Also strong relationship between % minority students and Priority status; not as strong as ED
  • Urban schools overrepresented; rural schools underrepresented
characteristics of focus schools
Characteristics of Focus Schools
  • 185 schools were Focus in 2012 and 2013
  • 164 are new to Focus in 2013
  • 173 came off the list
    • 8 became Priority
    • 125 have no label
    • 37 are Reward
    • 3 are not ranked
focus 2013 relative focus 2012
Focus 2013 relative Focus 2012

More schoolwide Title I schools identified

More rural schools, fewer urban schools, more small and large schools, fewer 400-800 student schools

Fewer low ED schools, more 50-75% ED schools

resources available
Resources Available
  • Complete TTB list of all schools and their ranking
  • At-A-Glance Document
  • Individual school look-up to see your school’s results
  • Business rules by which the rankings were calculated
  • Complete data file and validation file
  • Links to separate pages for each of Priority, Focus and Reward schools

You can access these resources at

resources available1
Resources Available
  • Separate pages for each of Priority, Focus and Reward schools
  • At-A-Glance Documents
  • Powerpoints for understanding each status
  • Overview presentations with voice over
  • Documentation for supports
  • Look-up Tools

You can access these resources at

additional assistance
Additional Assistance
  • You can also request individual assistance by calling the Office of Evaluation, Strategic Research and Accountability (OESRA) at 877-560-8378, Option 6 or emailing