3D Growth

Since 2012, E3 Alliance has been the only organization statewide to provide student academic growth analyses for Texas school districts through the 3D Growth model. 3D Growth is based on a well-respected growth algorithm using the Student Growth Percentiles model out of Colorado with features we believe rates it as the most robust and accurate approach in the nation. Over 15 states already use this model for these features:

  • Enables districts to compare outcomes objectively across student types, schools, and districts both in region and statewide.
  • Accepted by both teacher unions and state school superintendents.
  • Provides student growth comparisons for students at any level; not focused on “bubble students” near state passing standards, and almost no “ceiling effect” for high-performing students.

E3’s added value is leveraging norm-based comparisons of students across the state of Texas to provide regional exemplars and statewide rankings, allowing schools of any demographic to rank their growth and compare themselves to similar high-growth peers to identify replicable practices. 3D Growth analyses have been provided for free or nominal cost to Central Texas districts through the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation and other private investors for the last few years to a strong positive response:

“My team was so impressed with the data you shared; they told me it was the most beneficial presentation they had seen, because it used pertinent data in a way that shows positives and negatives that should drive decision making. Yea to you and your team!” – Central Texas Superintendent

“3D Growth has showed us that it’s not about good campuses and bad campuses; there are areas to improve for every campus and now we have the tools to help us do that.” – Fort Bend Principal

“3D Growth has provided all of us a different way to look at the performance of students and staff. It is eye opening and has led to thoughtful conversations and better practices.” – Central Texas Assistant Superintendent

School districts outside CTX, Texas Charter Schools Association, private funders, and others have been investing $10-22K each for the last few years for 3D Growth data from E3 that was otherwise unavailable.

New Focus on Strong and Replicable Practices:
Based on two years of piloting the approach and receiving district and campus feedback about what would add greatest value, E3 has piloted “3D Growth 2.0” with new data features and intense consulting services that enable a laser focus on what is working in our schools. E3 Alliance provides highly interactive workshops with the information needed to optimize campus resources and investments by comparing multi-year and detailed growth and related data to prior and current year instructional and operational activities, looking for patterns to help optimize Campus Improvement Plans and district investments. To support this ultimate goal, E3:

  1. Provides trend data for campus growth scores from 2013-16
  2. Provides growth rankings for individual students and teachers
  3. Facilitates an in-depth decision-making consultation with campus and district leaders to compare growth outcomes and trends with systems, staff, and program changes to help optimize performance

Enhanced 3D Growth Planning/Process Outline:
We have piloted this process with campus leaders and district staff from three Central Texas districts, and have continued to enhance a process that can be very valuable for other districts:

  • District staff and E3 Alliance meet to develop overall goals and schedule of the growth analysis effort
  • E3 analyzes growth patterns of students across the state to establish norm-based student outcomes
  • E3 establishes regional exemplar growth campuses for all types of schools, as well as state ranking system
  • District leaders and principals meet with E3 Alliance to identify the optimal process to leverage 3D Growth into Campus Improvement Plans and other district planning processes
  • Campus leadership teams do “homework” to document district and campus activity and resource allocation trends over the last 4 years (based on process and template provided by E3) to provide a baseline for prioritization of future opportunities to improve performance
  • District works with E3 to pull student and teacher data from local systems to compare to state data
  • E3 analyzes district-specific data sets, to include:
    • 3D Growth prior year (2016) analyses of data for all campuses for reading and math by campus, grade, subject, and student group (bubble charts, spider charts, tables, Excel spreadsheets)
    • Campus 3D Growth trends for 2012-13 through 2014-15
    • Potential exemplar comparison campuses from across the region
    • 3D Growth outcomes for individual students and teachers
    • Other relevant data, e.g. chronic absence patterns, ADA, science passing rates, etc.
  • Leadership teams from each campus are brought together for a workshop facilitated by E3 Alliance to review trend data, discuss programmatic implications, and look for campus/district opportunities to increase student outcomes, using a prioritization and process improvement methodology provided by E3
  • For nominal additional investment, the E3 team can potentially answer specific district questions, such as relative student growth achieved through different types of ELL programs
  • Principals return for a second workshop to deeply analyze growth scores and trends for individual teachers and students, to look for areas for enhanced supports and interventions
  • Implications for policy and practice are documented for CIP, DIP, budget and management processes

Practitioner Feedback on 3D Growth 2.0:
“3D Growth elevated the discussion in our district beyond passing rates, to focus on how well are students are learning and growing. If we are going to push our students to compete academically with students globally, we can’t be afraid of data showing where we need improvement. Without it, how will we be able to challenge ourselves to become better as a district?” – Superintendent, Hays CISD

“The most powerful part was comparing our growth trends to activities and programs we have undertaken in the past and then discussing decisions for the coming year as a group. E3 walked us through a process that will help us optimize student outcomes this year and going forward.” – Principal, Hays CISD

“This gave me complex data in an easier to digest format. Numbers became action plans.”
– Principal, Lake Travis ISD

“E3 staff kept 55 educators engaged deeply on relevant professional learning which will support teacher and principal goal-setting. All participants left with an action plan to support improved student learning. It was an amazing and productive day!” – Deputy Superintendent, Lake Travis ISD

District Investment:
We have found no commercial provider who can provide similar norm-based academic growth comparisons for all students in Texas; E3 Alliance has a unique offering for districts not available from commercial providers at any price. Our review of commercial information shows that similar offerings (typically comparing students only within a district or with non-normed comparison sets) start at $100K. For E3 Alliance to produce the 3D Growth 2.0 analysis and service offering it takes many hundreds of man hours and analysis of tens of millions of student records. Through the Beta test process we determined the cost to complete this work, including all data pulls, detailed analyses of 2016 data, 2013-15 trends, teacher and student level data preparation, deliverables development, consulting materials, and multi-session consulting services. We can provide these services to Central Texas districts at a discounted rate of $21,000 to $43,000, depending on district size and services requested. Specific prices can be provide upon request.

To read a Research Paper on 3D Growth, please click link:

To share information about 3D Growth, please click the links:

3D Growth in Action

District leaders share their thoughts about
their district data and priorities.



Contact Matt Pope, mpope@e3alliance.org to learn more about the 3D Growth model and to sign up for workshops.