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Comparing California Standards Test (CST) Results

When comparing results for the CSTs, you are limited to comparisons within the same subject and grade; that is, grade two English–language arts in 2008 compared to grade two English–language arts in 2009 or grade six mathematics in 2008 compared to grade six mathematics in 2009. No direct comparisons should be made between grades or between content areas.

Two types of comparisons are possible: (1) comparing the mean scale score; or (2) comparing the percent of students scoring at each performance level. The reviewer may compare results for the same grade and subject across years within a school, between schools, or between a school and its district, its county, or the state. When making comparisons, the reviewer should consider comparing the percent of students scoring proficient and advanced. This is because the state target is for all students to score at or above proficient.

Comparing California Modified Assessment (CMA) Results

When comparing results for the CMA, you are limited to comparisons within the same subject and grade; that is, grade three English–language arts compared to grade three English–language arts or grade four mathematics compared to grade four mathematics. No direct comparisons should be made between grades or between content areas.

In 2009, scale scores and performance levels are available for the CMA for grades three through five. Two types of comparisons are possible for the CMA for these grades: (1) comparing the mean scale score; or (2) comparing the percent of students scoring at each performance level. The reviewer may compare results for the same grade and subject within a school, between schools, or between a school and its district, its county, or the state. When making comparisons, the reviewer should consider comparing the percent of students scoring proficient and advanced. This is because the state target is for all students to score at or above proficient.

For grades six through eight, the results for the CMA in 2009 are reported as the percent of items correct. Therefore, the CMA results for those grades may be used only to compare the average percent correct on the test. The reviewer may compare results for the same grade and subject between schools or between a school and its district, its county, or the state.

Comparing California Alternate Performance Assessment (CAPA) Results

When comparing results for the CAPA, you are limited to comparisons within the same subject and CAPA level; that is, Level II mathematics compared to Level II mathematics or Level IV English–language arts compared to Level IV English–language arts. No direct comparisons should be made between test levels or between content areas.

Two types of comparisons are possible: (1) comparing the mean scale score; or (2) comparing the percent of students scoring at each performance level. The reviewer may compare results for the same subject, grade, and CAPA level across years within a school, between schools, or between a school and its district, its county, or the state. When making comparisons, the reviewer should consider comparing the percent of students scoring proficient and advanced. This is because the state target is for all students to score at or above proficient.

Comparisons may also be made by calculating the overall percent of students within a school who scored proficient and advanced and comparing that percent to the overall percent of students in another school, the district, the county, or the state who scored proficient or advanced. To make a comparison of this kind, first calculate the number of students who scored proficient and advanced for the subject area at each grade and CAPA level ([%PRO + %ADV] x number tested for the grade and CAPA level and subject area = number scored PRO/ADV). Then add the number who scored PRO/ADV for all grades and divide the sum by the total enrollment.

Comparing Standards-based Tests in Spanish (STS) Results

When comparing results for the STS, you are limited to comparisons within the same subject and grade; that is, grade two reading/language arts compared to grade two reading/language arts or grade four mathematics compared to grade four mathematics. No direct comparisons should be made between grades or between content areas.

In 2009, scale scores and performance levels are available for the STS for grades two through four. Two types of comparisons are possible for the STS for these grades: (1) comparing the mean scale score; or (2) comparing the percent of students scoring at each performance level. The reviewer may compare results for the same grade and subject within a school, between schools, or between a school and its district, its county, or the state. When making comparisons, the reviewer should consider comparing the percent of students scoring proficient and advanced. This is because the state target is for all students to score at or above proficient.

For grades five through eleven, the results for the STS in 2009 are reported as the percent of items correct. Therefore, the STS results for those grades may be used only to compare the average percent correct on the test. The reviewer may compare results for the same grade and subject between schools or between a school and its district, its county, or the state.