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About the Scores

The Stanford 9 and STAR augmentation results for the state, counties, districts, and schools are final.

At the state level a total of 6.4% (272,935) student records do not include a language fluency designation. The scores for those records are not included in group summaries for LEP or for non-LEP reports at the state, county, district or school levels. The missing scores are not evenly distributed across county, district or school reports. The reports for "all" students, for economically disadvantaged and not economically disadvantaged students, and for males and females, are not affected by the LEP data discrepancies.



About the Scores Reported on the STAR Tests

Stanford 9
Stanford 9 scores are reported for the subjects tested at each grade level: reading, written expression, mathematics, spelling, for grades 2 through 8; reading, writing, mathematics, science, social science, for grades 9 through 11. 

STAR Augmentation (California Content Standards)
STAR augmentation (California Content Standards) scores are reported for language arts for grades 2 through 11.  STAR augmentation scores for mathematics are reported for all students for grades 2 through 7 and grade 11.  Mathematics scores for grades 8, 9, and 10 are reported by mathematics course as specified in California's content standards: for grade 8, algebra I or 1st year integrated mathematics; grade 9, geometry or 2nd year integrated mathematics; and grade 10, algebra II or 3rd year integrated mathematics. 

SABE/2
For grades 2 through 8 SABE/2 scores are reported for reading, language, mathematics, and spelling.  For grades 9 through 11 scores are reported for reading, language, and mathematics. 
 

Types of Scores Reported

Stanford 9
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 three-quarters nationally. 
  • Mean Scaled Score estimates the group average scaled score for each grade level. 
SABE/2

For each school, district, county and for the state, the following types of scores are reported by grade level and content area: 

RPR (reference 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 RP shows the percent of students in the group scoring in the top quarter of the reference group. 
  • % (percent of students) scoring at or above the 50th RP shows the percent of students in the group scoring in the top half of the reference group. 
  • % (percent of students) scoring above the 25th RP shows the percent of students in the group scoring in the top three-quarters of the reference group. 
  • Mean Scaled Score estimates the group average scaled score for each grade level. 


STAR Augmentation (California Content Standards)

Average Number Correct out of Total Number Possible: The group scores reported for the STAR augmentation are "raw scores" that are the average number correct out of the total number of items possible. The total number of items is the sum of the items created specifically for the augmentation plus selected items from the Stanford 9. For English/language arts the totals consist of 35 augmentation items plus 40 selected Stanford 9 items at grades two and three and 55 selected Stanford 9 items at grades four through eleven. For mathematics, 15 items from the Stanford 9 were identified as standards-based at grades two through seven and added to the 35 newly created standards-based items, for a total of 50 items.

At grades 8 through 10, 15 items at each level were selected from the Stanford 9 to be combined with the augmented test items designated as appropriate to that grade level. Thus the total number of items possible on the mathematics tests at grades 8 through 10 is also 50--15 Stanford 9 items plus 35 augmentation items. Students taking the algebra I STAR augmentation at grade 9, however, would not take any Stanford 9 items identified as contributing to the total score because the Stanford 9 items selected for use at grade 9 were chosen as foundation skills for geometry, not for algebra. No total score can be calculated for students who did not take both grade level components that contribute to the total score. While no augmentation scores will be reported at grades eight through ten for students tested with other than the test designated for that grade level, the number of students taking the test and the percent of enrollment are reported.
 

Score Explanations

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 norming sample is representative of a national cross-section 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, socio-economic 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/statetests). 

The SABE/2 is designed for students whose primary language is Spanish, and it was normed on a group of Spanish speaking students in bilingual classes in 12 states with substantial populations of Spanish speaking students, including California.  Because the norming group was not a nationally representative sample, all the normed scores are called "reference" scores rather than "national" scores.  Students are compared to the performance of students in the reference group that is similar to them in the same way students who take the Stanford 9 are compared to the performance of the representative national sample. 
 

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  can be approximated by the following procedure.  First, find the average NCE score for a group of students.  NCE  scores divide the normal curve into 99 equal units. Next, find the percentle score that is equivalent to the mean NCE. This mean  percentile  can be roughly interpreted as the 'NPR (national percentile rank) of the "average" student.' 

RPR of the "Average" Student
Because the SABE/2 uses a reference sample of Spanish speaking students rather than a national representative sample of all students, all the percentile scores are compared to the reference group.  The Reference Percentile of the "Average" student is calculated for groups of Spanish speaking students just as the National Percentile of the "Average" student is calculated for nationally normed tests such as the Stanford 9.  Normal curve equivalent scores were used in the same way for the SABE/2 as for the Stanford 9 to estimate a percentile rank for 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 three-quarters 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 three-quarters, respectively, of the students tested nationally. 

% Scoring Above the 75th RP, % Scoring At or Above the 50th RP, and % Scoring Above the 25th RP
These scores are similar to the scores above, except that the SABE/2 comparison group is a "reference" group of Spanish speaking students in bilingual classes. 

Mean Scaled Score
Raw scores identify the number of items answered correctly on a test or subtest. Raw scores are limited in their measurement precision because of differences among test items. For example, some items are more difficult than others.  A scaled score takes item differences into account and is calculated to provide a more precise measure of the knowledge or skills tested. Through this calculation, an increase of one point at one place on the scale is described as being equal to a one-point 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. The SABE/2 also provides scaled scores for individual students and a mean or average scaled score for groups of students.  Scaled scores can be compared within the same test, but not between two different tests (e.g. Stanford 9 and SABE/2), nor even two different subjects on the same test, (e.g. Reading and Mathematics).    For example, the scale on the Stanford 9 starts at approximately 200 and goes to 900, while the SABE/2 starts at 1 and goes to 999.  A scaled score of 500 will have very different meanings on the Stanford 9 5th grade reading test, the Stanford 9 5th grade math test, and the SABE/2 5th grade reading test. 
 

Comparing Scores

Comparing Group Test Results
One of the reasons that the same test is used year to year, and is used with all schools, is to allow for comparisons over time and among schools.  The most defensible comparison score is the "PAC 50"--the percent of students in the group scoring at or above the 50th percentile.  There are a variety of comparisons possible, each with their own set of cautions. 

Same Year, Within School Comparisons 
A school may wish to compare the performance of students at different grade levels.  By looking at the percent of students scoring above the 50th percentile at each grade level, in the same subject--for example, reading--similarities and differences in the performance of students at different grade levels can be noted.  When making such comparisons it is important to remember that the number of students in each group affects the confidence in the inferences that one can make about such comparisons. 

Same School, Different Years Comparisons
There are two types of comparisons that can be made in the same school with two or more years of data.  A cohort comparison looks at the performance of a group of students over time.  For example, hypothetically in 1998 54% of the third grade students scored at or above the 50th percentile in reading.  In 1999, 58% of the fourth graders scored at or above the 50th percentile in reading. That cohort's reading scores improved four percentage points.  In a cross sectional comparison, last year's third grade results are compared to this year's third grade results. In the cohort comparison it is important to remember that even if the same number of students are represented in the '99 fourth grade as were in the '98 third grade, the groups' composition  may be quite different if student mobility (transiency) is high. 

Scaled Score Comparisons (Cohort)
While scaled scores cannot be compared between different tests or subject areas, scaled scores are useful to compare performance over time on the same test.  For example, if the second grade in a school had 52% scoring above the 50th percentile, and the same group of students as third graders also had 52% scoring above the 50th percentile, the only way to determine if the students actually demonstrated growth over the year is a comparison of the average scaled score from one year to the next.  In fact, if a group maintains the same position relative to the norm group, the scaled score would increase, because the norm group also increases its scaled score from year to year.  Even if the percent of students scoring above the 50th percentile decreased slightly--say from 52% to 51%, it would be incorrect to infer that the students had not improved.  It is necessary to look at the mean scaled scores in order to determine whether students have progressed. 


Linking Reports

Linking 1998 and 1999 Reports
To make comparisons, it is necessary to look at comparable groups--for example, the results for a school in 1998 and 1999.  After following directions to find the school report for 1999, to find the 1998 results it is necessary to click Spring 1998 STAR Reports icon.  This icon can be found on the sidebar of many of these pages.

An additional report providing cohort comparisons between 1998 and 1999 scores can be found by selecting the More About STAR icon also found on the sidebar of many of these pages.

Linking School, District, County, and State 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

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