Under both ESSA and state law, North Dakota must implement a high quality, valid, reliable and fair annual assessment that is aligned to North Dakota state standards in English language arts (ELA), mathematics, and science.

Growth Model State Assessment Achievement Growth will account for 30% of the academic indicators used in the Accountability System under ESSA.

North Dakota will be using a Student Learning Index within the accountability system to measure student growth on the NDSA.  North Dakota will calculate achievement and growth for each student based on statewide assessment scores in English language arts/literacy and mathematics. The state will set expected achievement and growth levels consistent at each grade level for statewide assessments. North Dakota will employ a Student Learning Index which will measure the degree to which each institution provides evidence of improving student performance on statewide assessments.

Schools will be expected to demonstrate growth towards meeting and exceeding expected levels of achievement. The Student Learning Index is constructed to promote and recognize positive progress towards meeting the expectations for student achievement as defined in the state's vision. Every school has a different starting point in pursuit of the vision. The Student Learning Index is a tool that measures growth and achievement in a composite index.

Because the learning index will identify high performing/no growth, high performing/recognizable growth, low performing/high growth, low performing/low, or no growth it will provide clear and distinct differentiation among institutions for the purpose of accountability and will be used to evaluate the academic progress achieved by each school.

The basic structure expects schools with high achievement levels (top performing quartile) to maintain such levels while realizing minimal, but recognizable, growth. Schools with low achievement (lowest performing quartile) have a much longer road to reach expected achievement levels.