Product Update

Improving Proficiency Projections

Blog Post created by Product Update on Dec 13, 2019

We know how important it is to accurately predict student performance on state summative test, so we have taken steps to improve the current system to leverage the custom instructional weeks your district uses for spring testing, instead of the standard 32nd week default. Starting on December 16, 2019, proficiency projections from fall to spring and from winter to spring will now take into account the customized instructional week your school/district uses in the spring to estimate projected proficiency rates after fall and winter testing. This should result in greater consistency in projected proficiency rates across testing terms.

What does this mean?
School systems that have established a different week of instruction in the reporting system for spring testing – indicating that spring testing will be completed earlier or later than the 32nd week of instruction – will experience improved accuracy in the percentages of students predicted to be proficient on their state summative tests when predicting proficiency status in the spring based on fall or winter results.

Why is this?
Currently, projected proficiency in the fall and winter terms takes into account a student’s current RIT score, the school/district selected fall or winter instructional week, and how much growth we might expect that student to show from fall to spring (or winter to spring) based on NWEA’s 2015 growth norms. The current proficiency projection approach uses the default 32nd week of instruction when projecting student growth from fall to spring or winter to spring, even if a school/district has identified a different spring instructional week for reporting purposes. As such, if a student’s RIT score in the spring (at the 32nd instructional week) is projected to be at or above the proficiency cut score in the student’s grade and subject area, then the student would be projected to be proficient.

However, not all schools/districts test their students on the MAP Growth assessments in the 32nd instructional week in the spring, and that will now be considered when projecting a student’s spring proficiency status. Starting on December 16, 2019, NWEA’s improved projected proficiency approach will account for the spring instructional week selected by schools/districts for reporting purposes. If a school tests in the 30th week of instruction in the spring, projected proficiency estimates in the fall and winter will now indicate if a student is predicted to be at or above the proficiency cut score by the time the student tests in the 30th week, not the 32nd week.

What should you do?

After December 16 review the following reports and data exports to view the updated projected proficiency metrics:


  • Class breakdown by Projected Proficiency: teacher view of students in predictive performance categories by subject
  • Projected Proficiency Summary Report: district view of projected performance on the state assessment by grade
  • Comprehensive data file: a compressed (.zip) file of student information for all rostered students with valid test events
  • Combined data file: contains a subset of data from the Comprehensive Data File


If you have questions, please contact your Account Manager.