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Growth Profile Tutorial

The Growth Profile consists of a main graph and a subgraph. The main graph shows your selected cohort's areas of relative strength and weakness. Areas of high and low growth may be highlighted. The subgraph plots growth trends for subtests you select from the main graph. Reading and Math Total trends are shown by default. Growth projections and GE/SS labels may be added to the subgraph.

Click on a feature for more information:


This is your district or school system name. Only accounts created with the “District Assistant Master,” “eITP District Master,” or “eITP District User” roles have access to your district’s group growth profile data.

Choose a Cohort

eITP growth data is organized by current grade. In this example, you are viewing data for all of your current 11th graders. Select another grade cohort by clicking on the menu, moving the mouse down to the cohort of interest, and clicking the mouse button. Note that cohorts that have graduated are designated in descending order of their year of graduation, for example, the Class of 2011, then the next older class, the Class of 2010, and so on. If you do not see a particular grade, no data are available, or the data did not meet the minimum requirements for growth profile displays.

Choose a Subgroup

To view growth data for a particular subgroup, click the Subgroup menu, move the mouse down to the subgroup of interest, and click the mouse button. Possible subgroups include Male, Female, Free and Reduced-Price Lunch, Asian, Black, Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, Hispanic, Native American, White, and Multiple Races. If you do not see a particular subgroup, no data are available, or the data did not meet the minimum requirements for growth profile displays.

GE/SS Toggle Switch

Use this button to toggle between Grade Equivalents and Standard Scores. eITP will default to the GE scale for grades 8 and below, and it will default to SS scale in the high school grades. This reflects the usefulness of the GE scale for grade-based interpretations in the lower grades, while grade-based interpretations the higher grades are less meaningful and occasionally have ceiling effects in the highest grades. The SS scale is the recommended scale for all high school analyses.

Link to this Page

To bookmark the current view of the growth profile for your records, right click (or hold the mouse button on Macs) on the "Link to this Page" button and choose "Add to Favorites," "Bookmark this Link..." or "Bookmark Link..." depending on the browser you are using. You may use this link to share a particular cohort and subgroup view with other users in your district or for your own use. Alternatively, clicking on this link will refresh your current page and place a unique address in your browser address window, which you may then copy. Note that this bookmarking feature does not currently preserve selected subtests, N-counts, growth bars, or other small features.

Plotting Trends with Subtest Tabs

The Iowa Tests are listed across the top of the growth profile chart. We will refer to these as "Subtests." All subtests can be selected for trend display on the subgraph by simply clicking on the subtest name. A maximum of four subtests may be simultaneously selected for trend display. This main graph is similar to the growth profile charts that many Iowa students, parents, teachers, and administrators receive. Total scores are unweighted averages of their preceding subtests, with a few exceptions as noted by the asterisks.

Growth Data – Grade Equivalents and Standard Scores Over Time

Depending on the GE/SS toggle switch, the main graph shows the average Standard Score or the National Grade Equivalent (NGE) of the average Standard Score of the chosen grade cohort over time. Each colored line is associated with a particular school year in the past. In the example, the Current Grade 11 cohort is shown growing each year from Grade 6 (in school year '06-'07) to Grade 10 (in school year '10-'11). Peaks and valleys in the profile represent areas of relative academic strength and weakness. Vertical distance between the lines represents growth on a particular subtest. If there are breaks in a single colored line, these gaps refer to subtests with no data available or data that did not meet the minimum requirements for growth profile displays.

Highlighting Areas of High or Low Growth

You may use this feature to highlight areas of particularly high or low growth. The default is set to highlight growth that is greater than 1 GE per year under the GE view or 12 SS points under the SS view. Note that 12 SS points is an arbitrary number that does not necessarily correspond to 1 GE. Click the "View" button to highlight these areas on the main graph. Filled "Growth Bars" will appear wherever the criterion you specify is met. Click "Reset" to remove the Growth Bars. The 1 GE or 12 SS default value can be changed by clicking the cell and entering a new value. Use the drop-down menu to highlight and click "less than" to view areas of particularly low growth.

Dot Sizes and N-Counts

For most grade cohorts, the number of students, or the N-count, will remain close over time and across subtests. In some cases, however, N-counts may increase, decrease, or fluctuate markedly over time or across subtests. In these cases, trends should be interpreted with extreme caution, as the change in scores may be caused more by changing cohort membership than changing academic achievement. To temper interpretation of these trends, the sizes of the dots indicate the size of the cohort with respect to the average cohort size. Bigger dots represent cohort sizes that are more than 25% larger than the average, and smaller dots represent cohort sizes that are less than 25% of the average. Interpretation of trends between dots of different sizes is discouraged. There is a button that displays all N-counts at once; this button provides a detailed overview of the cohort size across tests and across time.

The Subgraph Legend and Axes

The subgraph plots selected subtest trends from the main graph. These subtests are shown in their associated color in the subgraph legend. Subtest trends can be added or removed by clicking the appropriate subtest name in the main graph. The horizontal axis shows the time of testing (F)all, (M)idyear, or (S)pring. If your district changed its primary time of testing, the trends are plotted on the appropriate time in the school year.

Growth Trends and Growth Projections

Subgraph growth trends show the change in average academic proficiency for the selected grade cohort in your district. Moving the mouse over a particular data point reveals a dotted growth projection. Clicking the point freezes this growth projection on the subgraph. This growth projection is neither a growth expectation nor a growth standard. If GEs are selected, this projection shows the National Grade Equivalent (NGE) of the average score that maintains the same National Percentile Rank (NPR) over time. If SSs are selected, this projection represents the Standard Score gain needed to maintain National Percentile Rank. Average growth at projected levels may be thought of as a benchmark for maintaining relative status with respect to the national distribution over time.

Show/Hide GEs/SSs

Clicking the "Show GEs" or "Show SSs" button will attach labels to each subtest trend with the associated Grade Equivalent of the average score or the associated average Standard Score. These labels can be moved by clicking them and dragging them to different locations. This may help to unclutter the side graph when more than two growth trends are simultaneously plotted. Clicking the button again will hide the GE or SS labels.