February 17, 2019

Q&A – Using ROI for principal evaluations


Great question from Kim:

I am a principal in Illinois and am required to set student growth goals as a part of my annual evaluation. I am trying to get a clear understanding of ROI and came across your powerpoint presentations online. I am hoping you can help me understand the rational of the procedure I am being told to use.First, I calculate the growth rates for students using their BOY and EOY DIBELS scores from last year. Then I’m supposed to multiply that by 1.5 (Fuchs’ ambitious goal) to determine each student’s ROI for this year from BOY to MOY using AIMSweb (the district changed measures this year). Finally, I set an overall growth target by which I will be evaluated. For example, “75% of 3rd grade students will reach their ROI targets from BOY to MOY benchmarks.”

I am struggling with the constant, 1.5. I can see setting ambitious goals for students below benchmark, but if a student is already well above benchmark, and will obviously not receive Tier II or Tier III intervention, is it reasonable to expect their rate of improvement to increase 150%? Any advice you can provide will be GREATLY appreciated.


Andy and I had responded to this email individually, but this a great point that should be mentioned.  There are a couple of studies that illustrated that students performing at the highest and lowest levels on benchmark assessments tend to make the least amount of growth.  That doesn’t mean we can’t expect students to make gains, but we need to be aware that our highest and lowest performing students will require extra effort to improve their achievement gains over time.

Fien, H., Park, Y., Baker, S. K., Smith, J. L. M., Stoolmiller, M., & Kame’enui, E. J. (2010). An examination of the relation of nonsense word fluency initial status and gains to reading outcomes for beginning readers. School Psychology Review, 39, 631-653.

Good, R. H., Wheeler, C. E., Cummings, K. D., Baker, S. K., Fien, H., & Kame’enui, E. J. (2010, March). Rigorous RtI decisions: Normative growth rates for oral reading fluency. Paper presented at the meeting of the National Association of School Psychologists Annual Convention in Chicago, IL.

Silberglitt, B., & Hintze, J. M. (2007). How much growth can we expect? A conditional analysis of R-CBM growth rates by level of performance. Exceptional Children, 74, 71-84.

About Caitlin

Caitlin Flinn Bennyhoff, D.Ed., NCSP, is currently employed as a Nationally Certified School Psychologist in Pennsylvania. She completed her doctoral degree in school psychology at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Her main interests include response-to-intervention, systems-level change, measuring student growth, and data analysis teams.

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