STAR Assessments

  • What are STAR assessments?

    STAR assessments are computer-adaptive tests designed to give educators accurate, reliable, and valid data quickly so that they can make good decisions about instruction and intervention. STAR Reading (grades 2-12), STAR Math (grades 1-12), and STAR Early Literacy (grades K-1) include skills-based test items, learning progressions for instructional planning, and in-depth reports. They bridge testing and instruction. The STAR assessments are good tools for data-driven schools. They are practical and sound, and provide a wealth of information about your child’s reading and math skills

    How often is STAR used?

    STAR assessments are locally determined assessments that students take at least in three benchmarks, otherwise known as screening periods: Fall, Winter, and Spring. The purpose of these benchmarks is to assess student’s performance in the Common Core standards and set learning goals for the following benchmark. Individual schools and teachers may use the STAR assessments for progress monitoring purpose, i.e. schedule the STAR assessments more frequently to help identify needs, monitor progress, and guide instruction.

    What are the performance indicators in STAR?

    STAR assessments report performance in three main indicators: Scaled Score (SS), Percentile Rank (PR), and Student Growth Percentile (SGP). The Scaled Score shows the performance of a student in a given STAR test for a particular grade level and subject. The Percentile Rank shows the performance of a student as compared to other students’ performance in the STAR assessments across the nation for that particular STAR test in the same grade level and subject. A Student Growth Percentile, or SGP, compares a student’s growth to that of his or her academic peers nationwide. Academic peers are students in the same grade with a similar scaled score on a STAR assessment at the beginning of the time period being examined. SGP is reported on a 1–99 scale, with lower numbers indicating lower relative growth and higher numbers indicating higher relative growth. For example, if a student has an SGP of 90, it means the student has shown more growth than 90 percent of academic peers.

    Why are SGPs useful?

    SGPs add significantly to your understanding of how well a student is doing in school. While knowing a student’s level of achievement tells you whether the student is performing below, above, or on grade level, an SGP indicates what kind of progress the student is making. For example, a student may be performing at a low level, yet experiencing high rates of growth. Conversely, a high-performing student could be stagnating. Specifically, SGPs tell you whether a student’s growth is more or less than can be expected. For example, without an SGP, a teacher would not know whether an increase of 100 scaled scores represented average, above-average, or below-average growth. This is because students of differing achievement levels in different grades grow at different rates. For example, a high-achieving second grader grows at a different rate than a high-achieving eighth grader.