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Growth in Colorado

Quick Links

  • Learn more about cohort and baseline growth here
  • Learn more about the interpretation of baseline growth here.
  • View school and district Growth Summary Reports here.
  • To explore your school or district’s academic growth this past year, see the Performance Snapshot.

For the past decade, Colorado has been a national leader in how to measure a student's academic growth from year to year. About ten years ago, the state created the Colorado Growth Model to look specifically at how individual students progress from year to year based on the state standards. Growth provides another dimension of performance beyond just achievement on tests by describing the relative growth of individual students from year to year. The Colorado Growth Model provides information for many different student populations and identifies areas of strength and areas that may need more support. It also supplies necessary growth data for the annual school and district accountability ratings.

What metrics are included in the growth indicator on the performance frameworks?

The academic growth indicator reflects median growth percentiles (MGPs) in English Language Arts and Math on state assessments, and MGPs in English Language Proficiency (ELP) for English Language Learners.

On this indicator, schools and districts earn one of four ratings (Exceeds Expectations, Meets Expectations, Approaching Expectations, or Does Not Meet Expectations) based on the percent of points earned on the above metrics.

How does the growth performance indicator impact overall ratings on the performance frameworks?

For state accountability purposes, growth is the most heavily weighted of three performance indicators used for determining accreditation and school plan type ratings. For elementary schools and middle schools, growth results account for 60% of their final ratings. For high schools and districts, 40% of their final ratings are based on growth.


Introductory Resources

  • Baseline Growth Overview Resource - September 8, 2021: The purpose of this resource is to provide an overview of new baseline-referenced growth compared to traditional cohort-referenced growth. Also, statewide participation rates and results are shared. 
  • 2020-21 Growth Model: Baseline Growth Applications - September 23, 2021.  This brief resource explains student growth, how it is reported on in 2020-21, and focuses on the interpretation of baseline growth results. 
  • Growth Fact Sheet (PDF) - August 2018
    The purpose of this fact sheet is to provide a parent friendly overview of how Colorado Growth model results are calculated and what they mean.
  • Colorado Growth Model Webinar (Slide Deck)- August 15, 2019
    The purpose of this webinar was to provide a brief conceptual overview of the Colorado Growth Model, including student growth percentiles, median growth percentiles, and an overview of changes in reports and measures associated with the 2019 release.
  • Understanding the 2019 CMAS Growth and Achievement Report (PDF) - August 15, 2019
    This individual student growth report cover page explains the content of the reports to parents and guardians.
  • Entender el Informe de Desarrollo y Rendimiento CMAS de 2019 (PDF) - August 15, 2019
    This Spanish translated version of the individual student growth report cover page explains the content of the reports to parents and guardians.
  • How to Understand Individual Student Growth & Achievement Reports (PDF) - August 2019
    The purpose of this fact sheet is to provide an annotated version of the annually produced individual student growth reports to improve use and understanding by stakeholders.
  • Top Ten Myths about Growth & Accountability (PDF) - April 11, 2019
    The purpose of this fact sheet is to address the most common misunderstandings that CDE staff have encountered from education stakeholders in regards to the Colorado Growth Model and the state educational accountability system.

Guidance and Technical Resources


Helpful Links

  • To view school and district growth data summary results, visit the Colorado Growth Model Reports page.
  • To learn about the Technical Advisory Panel for Longitudinal Growth, visit the TAP page.

Contact Us

For more information, please contact Dan Jorgensen, PhD at: