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About STAR 2006

Program Background  |  STAR Reports
Grades & Subjects Reported

The 2006 Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) Program included four components:

  • California Standards Tests (CST)
  • California Alternate Performance Assessment (CAPA)
  • California Achievement Tests, Sixth Edition Survey (CAT/6 Survey) - grades 3 and 7 only
  • Aprenda: La prueba de logros en español, Tercera edición (Aprenda 3)

California Standards Tests (CSTs)
The California Standards Tests in English-language arts, mathematics, science, and history-social science are administered only to students in California public schools. Except for a writing component that is administered as part of the grade four and seven English-language arts tests, all questions are multiple choice. These tests were developed specifically to assess students' knowledge of the California content standards. The State Board of Education adopted these standards that specify what all California children are expected to know and be able to do in each grade or course. The 2006 CSTs 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 2005–06 school year, including 2005 summer school.

All Students in Grades 2 – 11 English-Language Arts
All Students in Grades 2 – 9 Mathematics
All Students in Grades 5, 8, and 10 Science
Grade 8 – 11 students who completed Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, or Integrated Mathematics 1, 2, or 3
Grade 8 and 9 students who did not complete one of the above math courses during the school year General Mathematics
Grade 9 and 10 students who completed Algebra II or Integrated Mathematics 3 during the previous grade and grade 11 students who completed Algebra II or Integrated Mathematics 3 anytime before 2006 testing began, including students taking higher mathematics courses or no mathematics course Summative High School Mathematics
All Students in Grades 8, 10, and 11 History-Social Science
Grade 9 – 11 students who completed Earth Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, or Integrated/Coordinated Science 1, 2, 3, or 4

CST scores are reported as one of five performance levels from advanced to far below basic. The scores are used for calculating each school’s Academic Performance Index (API). Only the results of the California English-Language Arts and Mathematics Standards Tests are used to determine the progress elementary and middle schools are making toward meeting the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001 adequate yearly progress (AYP) requirement of having all students score at proficient or above on these tests.

Information about the test score weights that are used for API calculations are available in the 2005-06 Base API - Information Guide posted at http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/ac/ap/index.asp.

For further information about the CST scores, go to Term and Score Explanations.

English-Language Arts


The grade two and three California English-Language Arts Standards Tests each have 65 multiple-choice questions. The tests for grades five, six, and eight through eleven each have 75 multiple-choice questions. During 2006, the grades four and seven California English-Language Arts Standards Tests included 75 multiple-choice questions plus a writing sample. For the writing component, students were required to write a response to literature for a story that they were given. The types of writing used for the writing component of the test change from year to year and are based on the California Writing Application Content Standards. Grade four students may be required to write a narrative, a summary of information, or a response to literature. Grade seven students may be required to write a fictional narrative, a response to literature, a persuasive essay, or a summary of information. One reader scored each student’s paper using a four-point scoring guide and the reader's score was doubled to produce a writing score of two, four, six, or eight points. The eight possible writing points are added to the 75 multiple-choice questions, resulting in a maximum possible score of 83 points for the English-language arts tests at these two grades.

Mathematics


The California Mathematics Standards Tests are grade-specific for grades two through seven. Each of these tests has 65 multiple-choice questions. The California Mathematics Standards Tests for grades eight through eleven also have 65 multiple-choice questions.

  • All students in grades eight and nine who had not yet completed or were not enrolled in discipline-specific, standards-based math courses or who were enrolled in the first year of a multi-year Algebra I course were required to take the General Mathematics CST. This test assesses the California Mathematics Standards for grades six and seven.
  • Students in grades eight through eleven who had completed or were enrolled in discipline-specific, standards-based math courses took California Mathematics Standards Tests in Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, or Integrated Mathematics 1, 2, or 3.
  • Students in grades nine and ten who had completed Algebra II or Integrated Mathematics 3 during a previous school year and grade eleven students who completed one of these two courses anytime prior to the beginning of testing were required to take the Summative High School Mathematics CST. This included students who were taking higher mathematics courses or no mathematics course.
     

History-Social Science


Students in grades eight, ten, and eleven took California History-Social Science Standards Tests. The grade eight test had 75 multiple-choice questions, and the grade ten and eleven tests each had 60 multiple-choice questions. These tests assess:

  • Grade 8 - a cumulative test of the grade 6 (World History and Geography: Ancient Civilizations) and grade 7 (World History and Geography: Medieval and Early Modern Times) standards, as well as grade 8 United States History and Geography: Growth and Conflict
  • Grade 10 - World History, Culture, and Geography: The Modern World
  • Grade 11 - United States History and Geography: Continuity and Change in the Twentieth Century
     

Science


The California Science Standards Tests were administered to all students enrolled in grades five, eight, and ten. The fifth-grade test assesses students’ knowledge of the California Grade Four and Five Science Content Standards. The eighth-grade test assesses the grade eight science content standards. The Grade 10 California Life Science Standards Test assesses selected middle school life science and high school biology content standards.

Students in grades nine through eleven who completed a standards-based science course during the 2005 summer session or the 2005–06 school year took one of the following CSTs:

  • Earth Science
  • Biology/Life Science
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Integrated/Coordinated Science 1, 2, 3, and 4 (four test forms, each assessing specific standards for biology/life science, chemistry, earth science, and physics)

Grade 10 students who completed a standards-based science course took one of the tests listed above in addition to taking the Grade 10 Life Science Test.

California Alternate Performance Assessment (CAPA)

Students with significant cognitive disabilities who are unable to take the CSTs and CAT/6 Survey even with modifications participated in the STAR Program by taking the CAPA. Alternate assessments are required by state law and NCLB. The CAPA is an individually administered performance assessment with all tasks linked to the California English-Language Arts and Mathematics Content Standards. Special educators in California identified content standards on which it is appropriate to assess students with severe cognitive disabilities.

The CAPA is organized into five levels, representing specific grade spans. Most students eligible for the CAPA take the level corresponding to their enrollment grade. These students are expected to move through the CAPA levels as they progress in age. Some students with significant cognitive disabilities are eligible for Level I. These students remain in Level I and are not expected to move through the other CAPA levels.

  • Level I  
Students in grades 2 – 11 (those with the most complex, profound disabilities)
  • Level II
Students in grades 2 and 3
  • Level III
Students in grades 4 and 5
  • Level IV
Students in grades 6 – 8
  • Level V
Students in grades 9 – 11

CAPA scores are reported as one of five performance levels from advanced to far below basic. While the CAPA performance levels have the same labels as those used for the CSTs, they are defined differently and are based on a different scale score range.



California Achievement Tests, Sixth Edition (CAT/6 Survey)
The California Achievement Tests, Sixth Edition Survey (CAT/6 Survey) were administered only to students in grades three and seven. These students were tested in reading, language, spelling, and mathematics. The purpose of administering the CAT/6 Survey 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.

Aprenda: La prueba de logros en español, Tercera edición (Aprenda 3)
The Aprenda 3, published by Harcourt Assessment, Inc., is a norm-referenced achievement test series in Spanish. The tests assess Spanish reading, language, and spelling, as well as mathematics in Spanish. Spanish-speaking English learners (limited-English proficient students) who were receiving instruction in Spanish or who had been enrolled in school in the United States less than 12 months when testing began were required to take the Aprenda 3 in addition to taking the CSTs and the CAT/6 Survey. Districts had the option of administering the Aprenda 3 to Spanish-speaking English learners who had been enrolled in school in the United States 12 months or more who were not receiving instruction in Spanish.
 



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