On July 9 State Superintendent Jack O’Connell unveiled a new, parent-friendly Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) Student Report, to be sent to all students from second through 11th grade who took the statewide California Standards Tests and nationally normed California Achievement Test/6 Survey this year.
"When parents receive their children's state test scores this year, they'll find a clearer, easier to understand report of what those scores mean and how they can be used to help their child do better in school," O'Connell said.
"These individualized student reports do a better job than we have in the past of clearly explaining each child's progress toward achieving proficiency, as well as comparing their achievement levels to those of their peers throughout the nation," O'Connell added.
The new student report has undergone many changes to help make it clearer and easier to understand for parents. Its name was changed from the "California Parent Report" to the "STAR Student Report." Color was added to the graphics so that all parents can easily understand how their children are doing.
The report uses three colors to show the level of a student's test scores, as well as the levels of achievement including "far below basic," "below basic," "basic," "proficient," and "advanced."
The report was designed in partnership with testing contractor Educational Testing Service (ETS) and the Grow Network, a subcontractor specializing in creating clear, graphically appealing information about student achievement to parents and teachers.
The report previously provided to parents showed the number of questions on each test followed by the percent of items correct. Most people would assume that the areas with the lowest percentage would be those needing most academic attention.
However, because the tests were not designed to make the percentages in each sub score comparable, this part of the report could be misleading. For example, it was possible for a child to have a lower percentage of questions correct in Reading Comprehension than in Word Analysis, but to have higher scores in Reading Comprehension.
The STAR Student Report instead compares the child’s sub scores to the results of proficient students in each content area.
The report will also provide parents with a listing of their children’s academic strengths and areas in need of focus.
“The goal of the new report is to provide parents with a much clearer plan for action,” O’Connell said. “Now instead of seeing just a number, parents will receive a clear description of where their child stands in regard to proficiency.”