Taking the Mystery out of Power Law

Posted by Matt Berringer on July 30, 2014


For many, Power Law, a tool for understanding a student’s progress toward mastery of a skill or competency, is a mystery. By contrasting it with other commonly used methods for interpreting student proficiency, two new datasheets by SunGard K-12 Education are helping school districts take the mystery out of Power Law for parents and teachers.

By combining scores from multiple assessments, Power Law can be used to report how well a skill or competency is mastered. Research demonstrates that the Power Law function can accurately estimate a student’s true score when multiple, evenly-spaced assessments are used. A true score is an estimate that accounts for the reality that multiple factors—such as student fatigue, misreading, environmental distractions, issues with the assessment or the grading thereof, etc.—can affect the accuracy of individual assessments.

Now, SunGard K-12 Education’s award-winning student information system, eSchoolPLUS, features support for Power Law to help teachers assess learning for narrowly defined skills or competencies. The Power Law function requires multiple assessments taken at regularly spaced intervals. As with the use of any assessment tool, teachers must use their professional judgment when interpreting its output.

To download the Power Law datasheets, click on the below links

Datasheet for Teachers New to Power Law

Datasheet for Parents

Topics: eschoolplus