All students enter school with a combination of "headwinds" and "tailwinds". Tailwinds are the things that make school easier for students. Tailwinds include things such as coming from a home with parents of high education levels and economic stability, being a native English speaker, not having a disability, and being a member of the cultural majority. Each of those characteristics plays a role in helping a student experience success in school.

Headwinds on the other hand make school more difficult. Headwinds can include having economic instability at home, parents with lower levels of education, having a disability, or still learning English. The more headwinds a student has, the more difficulty they will have in maximizing their academic potential and the more “tailwinds” they will need. Tailwinds come in the form of high-quality instruction, support, and intervention.

The Academic Support Index, or ASI, quantifies these headwinds. A student’s ASI is the sum of their headwinds. Their ASI can also be considered a measure of the amount of support that they will need in order to mitigate the impact of those educational headwinds. Students with a low ASI will likely need very little additional support outside of Tier 1 instruction. Higher ASI students will likely need proportionally higher amounts of Tier 2 and sometimes Tier 3 supports.

There is a strong relationship between the ASI and academic outcomes. These include standardized and standards-based assessments such as the SAT, Smarter Balanced Assessments, AP and IB tests, STAR Reading and Math, kindergarten screeners, cumulative grade point averages, rates of college eligibility, and rates of college degree attainment. We have studied these effects over seven years of data as well as across urban, suburban, and rural schools. To date over 400,000 students have been scored on the ASI. (See the featured post below for a list of papers and presentations on the ASI).

Because the ASI is able to reliably predict student outcomes you have to opportunity to interrupt that predictability by using the ASI to make sure that you are identifying the right students for early intervention and support. With effective intervention, predictive analytics can become preventive analytics.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Effect size of the Academic Support Index on Smarter Balanced Assessment performance

In this analysis I compare the effect size of the ASI and other demographic fields on students "distance from met" on the Smarter Balanced Assessment for English Language Arts (ELA) and Math over three years of data.
Effect Size Comparisons of ASI and Other Factors on SBA ELA and Math (2015, 2016, 2017)
(Effect Size Omega Squared: 0.01 Small; 0.09 Medium; 0.25 Large)

Smarter Balanced Assessment English Language Arts
Factor
Effect Size (ω2)
2015
Effect Size (ω2)
2016
Effect Size (ω2)
2017
Total
4,764
4,889
4,569
Academic Support Index
0.429
0.409
0.361
Race/Ethnicity
0.269
0.253
0.250
Parent Education Level
0.255
0.271
0.233
Primary Language
0.059
0.068
0.054
English Learner Status
0.097
0.110
0.097
LCFF “Unduplicated”*
n/a
0.209
0.210
Gender
0.015
0.014
0.014
Disability Status
0.117
0.145
0.134
Socioeconomic Status
0.111
0.158
0.179

* Unduplicated refers to students who meet any one of the following criteria: Low SES, English Learner, or are in Foster care.

Smarter Balanced Assessment Math
Factor
Effect Size (ω2)
2015
Effect Size (ω2)
2016
Effect Size (ω2)
2017
Total
4,825
4,933
4,501
Academic Support Index
0.405
0.355
0.317
Race/Ethnicity
0.253
0.244
0.247
Parent Education Level
0.237
0.249
0.232
Primary Language
0.051
0.056
0.045
English Learner Status
0.062
0.056
0.058
Unduplicated
0.095
0.181
0.169
Gender
0.000
0.002
0.000
Disability Status
0.096
0.142
0.126
Socioeconomic Status
0.078
0.114
0.157

Learn more about using the ASI framework in your school or district here.








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