Growth Index Formula

I am excited to announce the publication of the article featured in the Jan/Feb edition of ACSA Leadership Magazine titled, Growth index: A powerful tool for school improvement. In mid-2010 one of my colleagues and I put our best foot forward, developing a formula that assigns value to student achievement growth over subsequent school years. The formula reads:

Generally speaking, it considers four separate variables:

  1. How many students maintained (m) the same level?
  2. How many increased (i) one or more levels?
  3. How many Advanced students (a) remained Advanced? (Note. The label for this may range from state to state)
  4. How many students decreased (d) one or more levels?

To get a better understanding of the formula, and to view the article in its entirety, just click here. We have also provided supplemental examples and they can be viewed here.

Now that you are familiar with the Growth Index Formula and you would like to SAVE A WHOLE LOT OF TIME, click below and get your very own downloadable copy of the Growth Index Formula Calculation Sheet (created by Dr. Perry Wiseman). Just type in a few numbers and the rest takes care of itself! If you want to explore the Growth Index Formula some more, then you’ve really got to get your hands on this  MUST HAVE spreadsheet!


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Note. When you order this tool, you will receive two separate downloadable spreadsheets. The reasoning is that each state, under No Child Left Behind, uses different levels for student performance for their Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). One spreadsheet is for states that use five performance levels in their AYP accountability measure (e.g., California uses Far Below Basic, Below Basic, Basic, Proficient, and Advanced); and the other will be for states that use a four performance level system (e.g., Colorado uses Unsatisfactory, Partially Proficient, Proficient, and Advanced).


Since the inception of the formula I have also spent a great deal of time creating a sequence of materials and activities—a unique method I call Movement Matters which will help school practitioners increase the achievement of students at all levels. Movement Matters is definitely more than just a formula: It is a powerful, yet simple, process that takes data analysis to a whole new level! To learn more check out the flyer below.




6 thoughts on “Growth Index Formula

  1. I simply want to tell you that I am new to weblog and certainly liked you’re web site. Likely I’m want to bookmark your blog . You definitely have awesome writings. Kudos for sharing with us your webpage.

  2. Given the chance, I hope to explore the validity of this formula in my own school: I am currently a HS mathematics teacher, but I just finished and received my Principal’s Cert. As a result of attaining this degree I developed as my culminating activity a small research project grounded in identifying “at risk” students for “mentorship” assignment based upon a simple formula and benchmark figure. As a mathematics enthusiast and hopeful school leader, I’m certainly looking forward to exploring this idea or any ideas that tie in statistical probabilities as a function of student achievement…Thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks for the feedback! I too am a fan of mathematics, earning my undergrad in that area. Please keep me posted as you use the formula in your own school. I am getting close to releasing a DVD that outlines an entire process of data analysis, a process I have labeled Movement Matters. It is some powerful stuff and has been presented to a variety of school leaders, from superintendents to principals to teachers.

      In addition to the Growth Index Formula Spreadsheets offered within my post, I have created Movement Matters spreadsheets that automatically calculate GI, AYP, and API (API would be applicable in California) for individual teachers, programs, grade-levels, departments, and so forth. After doing some research though, I found that states have a varying number of performance levels for AYP. For example, California has five distinct levels: Far Below Basic, Below Basic, Basic, Proficient, and Advanced. Pennsylvania, on the other hand, has four: Below Basic, Basic, Proficient, and Advanced.

      Hence, I also created Movement Matters spreadsheet that reflects a four tiered performance level system, offering them on my website.

      Thanks again and please feel free to contact me anytime at

    • Rich,
      Just checking in to see how the GI formula is working out with your school. Hopefully things are going great and another successful year is winding down. I did recently release a data analysis process (Movement Matters), which contains the GI instrument as one of the critical data sets. You can check it out at

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