Home Research Files Reports


About STAR 2001

The 2001 Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) Program includes three components:
  • Stanford Achievement Test, Ninth Edition, Form T,
  • California Standards Tests,
  • Spanish Assessment of Basic Education, 2nd Edition (SABE/2).
Stanford Achievement Test, Ninth Edition, Form T
In November 1997, the State Board of Education designated the Stanford 9 published by Harcourt Educational Measurement as the STAR Program's achievement test. The test was first administered to all California students during spring 1998 and has been administered each spring since then. The Stanford 9 is a national norm-referenced achievement test, and the test questions and scoring are the same from year-to-year. Therefore, results from the 2001 administration may be compared with the results from any of the previous four years. For information on making year-to-year comparisons, see About the Scores. Stanford 9 results are used for calculating each school's Academic Performance Index (API). The API calculations do not use the Stanford 9 results exactly as they are posted on the Internet; therefore, caution is advised in comparing a school's Stanford 9 results over time against a school's API.

Students in grades 2 - 11 are tested in reading, language (written expression) and mathematics. Students in grades 2 - 8 are also tested in spelling, and students in grades 9 - 11 are tested in science and social science. The purpose of the Stanford 9 is to determine how well California students are achieving academically compared to a national sample of students tested in the same grade at the same time of the school year.

California Standards Tests
The California Standards Tests in English language arts, mathematics, science, and history-social science are comprised of items that were developed specifically to assess students' performance on California's content standards. The State Board of Education adopted the content standards that specify what all California children are expected to know and be able to do. The content standards are grade and course specific. The 2001 standards tests were required for students who were enrolled in the following grades/courses at the time of testing or who had completed a course during the 2000-2001 school year. The following students were required to take these tests:

All Students in Grades 2 - 11 English Language Arts
All Students in Grades 2 - 7 Mathematics
Grade 8 - 11 students who completed Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II or 1st, 2nd, or 3rd year Integrated Math
Grade-11 students who completed Algebra II or 3rd Year Integrated Math anytime prior to testing Grade-11 Mathematics
All Students in Grades 9 - 11 History-Social Science
Grade 9 - 11 students who completed Earth Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Coordinated Science Courses

The California English Language Arts Standards scores are based on 75 questions for grades 2 and 3 and 90 questions for grades 4 - 11. For all grades the California English Language Arts Standards Tests have 35 questions. The additional 40 questions for grades 2 and 3 and 55 questions for grades 4 - 11 are taken from the Stanford 9 reading and language tests. Stanford 9 spelling test questions are also used in grades 2 - 8. Language arts experts matched the Stanford 9 questions to California's content standards and selected the specific questions to be used as part of the standards-based scores for each grade.

During 2001, Grade 4 and 7 California Writing Standards Tests were administered for the first time. Students were given 60 minutes to write an essay in response to an assigned task. Grade-4 students wrote a summary of information they were given to read. Grade-7 students wrote a response to literature. The types of writing used for the test from year-to-year will be based on California's Writing Application Content Standards. Grade-4 students may be required to write a narrative, a summary of information or a response to literature. Grade-7 students may be required to write a fictional or autobiographical narrative, a response to literature, a persuasive essay, or a summary of information. The student's papers were scored independently by two readers using a 4-point scoring guide.

The California Mathematics Standards Tests are grade specific for grades 2 - 7. The California Mathematics Standards Test for each grade has 50 questions. Fifteen (15) Stanford 9 questions are added to the 50 questions with the standards-based scores based on the 65 questions (50 + 15). Like language arts, mathematics experts matched the Stanford 9 questions to California's content standards and identified specific questions to be used as Math Foundation Skills for the content standards. These questions are less rigorous than the questions on the California Standards Tests.

The California Mathematics Standards Tests for grades 8 - 11 changed between the 2000 and 2001 test administrations. During 2000, the tests were comprised of 50 standards test questions and 15 Stanford 9 Foundation Skill questions. For 2001, the California Mathematics Standards Tests for grades 8 - 11 each included 65 questions and no Stanford 9 questions were used in the standards-based scores. Students in these grades were tested based on standards-based math courses the students completed during the 2000-2001 school year. Grade-11 students who completed Algebra II or 3rd Year Integrated Math anytime, including during an earlier grade, before testing began in 2001 were required to take the California Grade-11 Mathematics Standards Test. This was a change from 1999 and 2000, when all grade-11 students were required to take the California Grade-11 Mathematics Standards Test regardless of the math courses they had completed.

During 2001, California Science and History-Social Science Tests were added to the STAR Program for students in grades 9 - 11. These tests were comprised of California specific items with no Stanford 9 questions used in calculating the standards-based scores. All students in grades 9 - 11 were required to take the grade-specific History-Social Science Tests regardless of the courses completed. These tests were:

  • Grade 9 Cumulative test assessing content standards from grades 4 - 8
  • Grade 10 World History
  • Grade 11 United States History

The science tests for grades 9 - 11 were based on course specific standards. Only grade 9 - 11 students who were enrolled in or completed a standards-based science course took a test. The standards-based courses for which tests were administered were:

  • Earth Science
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Coordinated Science (4 forms)
    • Earth Science, Biology, and Chemistry
    • Earth Science, Biology, and Physics
    • Earth Science, Chemistry, and Physics
    • Biology, Chemistry, and Physics

Teachers of Coordinated Science courses were asked to use the test blueprints and select the Coordinated Science Test that most closely matched the course content.

For further information about the California Standards Test scores, go to About the Scores.

Spanish Assessment of Basic Education, 2nd Edition (SABE/2)
The SABE/2, published by CTB/McGraw-Hill is a nationally norm-referenced achievement test in Spanish. The test battery includes tests of Spanish reading, language, and spelling, as well as mathematics tests in Spanish. Spanish-speaking English language learners (limited-English proficient students) who had been enrolled in California public schools less than 12 months when testing began were required to take the SABE/2 in addition to taking the Stanford 9 and California Standards Tests. Districts had the option of administering the test to Spanish-speaking English language learners who had been in California public schools 12 months or more.