NWEA to Develop Achievement Database

The Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) has received $500,000 from the University of Indianapolis through its Center of Excellence in Leadership of Learning program to develop the country's first large-scale database of growth rates in student achievement, and the factors that affect that growth. The $500,000 award will cover the first year of the expected five-year project.

Based on academic research protocols and assessment systems that NWEA has developed over the last 20 years, the database will help identify school district characteristics and instructional programs that improve academic achievement. It will also provide the capacity to address many issues that are impossible to study in a single school or district. In addition, the database will enable researchers to review student growth relative to soci'economic status or curriculum.

The association expects to design the database and begin testing its operations using data from between 50 and 100 of its member districts within the first year of development. The first year will also include the formation of an advisory board, feasibility demonstrations and beta tests of the data collection procedures. As development continues, the association expects to integrate it with other national databases, at which time the database is projected to include more than 1,000 school districts nationwide. NWEA, Portland, OR, (503) 624-1951, www.nwea.org.

This article originally appeared in the 03/01/2002 issue of THE Journal.

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