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Interpretations
About the Scores
Scores for all content areas tested in the STAR program are reported by grade level for
the state, and each county, school district, and school. Results will include: for grades
2 through 8, scores in total reading, written expression (total language), spelling, and
total mathematics; for grades 9 through 11, scores in total reading, writing (total
language), mathematics, science, and social science. The report will show scores by grade
level and content area in two ways: 1) for all students tested in the group, and
2) for limited English proficient (LEP) students. The total reading score includes
vocabulary and comprehension. The total language score includes language mechanics and
language expression. The total mathematics score includes problem solving and procedures.
In order to protect student confidentiality, no scores are reported
for any group of 10 or fewer students.
The results posted on this web site should be considered preliminary
and are subject to revision. Date of last revision: June 30, 1998
Types of Scores Reported
For each school, district, county and for the state, the following types of scores are
reported by grade level and content area:
 NPR (national percentile rank) of the "average" student estimates the individual percentile rank of a hypothetical
"average" student in this group.
 % (percent of students) scoring above the 75th NPR shows the percent of students
in the group scoring in the top quarter nationally.
 % (percent of students) scoring at or above the 50th NPR shows the percent of students
in the group scoring in the top half nationally.
 % (percent of students) scoring above the 25th NPR shows the percent of students
in the group scoring in the top threequarters nationally.
 Mean Scaled Score estimates the group average scaled score for each grade level.
Percentile Ranks
A percentile rank is the percent of people in the norming sample who have scores less
than or equal to a student's score. A student with a reading comprehension score at
the 60th percentile scored equal to or better than 60 percent of the students in the
norming sample. Stanford 9 is a nationally normed test. This means that the norm group is
representative of a national crosssection of students. The norming sample for Stanford 9
included students from the northeastern, midwestern, southern, and western regions of the
U.S. The sample also was representative of the nation in terms of ethnicity, urbanicity,
socioeconomic status, and students enrolled in private and Catholic schools. Since
Stanford 9 is a nationally normed test, its norming sample was representative of the
nation, but not necessarily of the state. The composition of this sample can be found in a
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) section of the California Department of Education
web site (http://www.cde.ca.gov/cilbranch/sca).
NPR (National Percentile Rank) of the "Average" Student
For the STAR program, Stanford 9 reports national percentile ranks (NPRs) for individual
students, but does not produce group level (e.g., school or district) percentile scores. A mean
percentile rank for a group cannot be calculated from percentile ranks for individuals
because they cannot be added or averaged across students. The national percentile rank of a hypothetical
"average" student taken from any group can be approximated by finding the
individual percentile rank of the mean NCE score for that group of students. A score based
on NCEs (normal curve equivalents) places percentile scores onto a scale that divides the
normal curve into equal units. NCE scores were developed to allow scores from different
normreferenced tests to be reported on a common scale, though NCE scores do not allow for
direct comparisons across different normreferenced tests. The mean NCE for a group of
students is simply the average of the NCE scores for those students. This mean NCE is then
reported in terms of an individual percentile that can be roughly interpreted as the
'NPR (national percentile rank) of the "average" student.'
% Scoring Above the 75th NPR, % Scoring At or Above the 50th NPR, and % Scoring
Above the 25th NPR
These scores correspond to the percent of students in the school, district, county, or
state scoring in the top quarter nationally; the percent of students scoring in the top
half nationally; and the percent of students scoring in the top threequarters nationally.
The three levels used to create these group scores are the 75th, 50th, and 25th national
percentiles, respectively. The percent of students scoring above each level is calculated
by counting the number of students scoring at or above a particular level (e.g., 50th
percentile) or above a particular level (e.g., 25th percentile and the 75th
percentile), dividing by the total number of scores, and converting to a percentage. The
percent scoring at or above the 50th percentile is the percent of students in this school,
district, county, or state whose scores would place them in the top half of the students
tested nationally. The percent scoring above the 75th percentile and above the 25th percentile
are the percents of students in this group whose scores would place them in the top quarter
and top threequarters, respectively, of the students tested nationally.
Mean Scaled Score
Raw scores identify the number of items answered correctly on a subtest, but raw scores
cannot be used to precisely identify differences in achievement. The problem is that all
items are not "equal." Some items are more difficult, or they may cover
different content. It also may be significant that different students respond correctly to
different groups of items. To provide a more precise measure of the knowledge or skills
tested, a scaled score is often calculated. A scaled score takes item differences into
account. Through this calculation, an increase of one point at one place on the scale is
described as being equal to a onepoint increase anywhere else on the scale. Scaled scores
are particularly useful for reporting changes over time. The Stanford Achievement Test
Series provides results in terms of scaled scores for individual students and a mean or
average scaled score for groups of students.
Linking Reports
In the upper left of each school report page, you will find the name of the state
(California), county, school district, and school that corresponds to the report. Each of
these underlined names provides a direct link to the report for the corresponding district
and county, and for the state. Similarly, district reports are linked to the county and
state reports, and county reports are linked to the state report. Click on any of these
underlined links to display the report for that district or county, or for the state.
Printing Reports
These reports may be printed, but may not appear as you see them when printed in
standard portrait format. Adjust your print setting to landscape (sideways) mode for
better results. 