Why do students see items on STAR that they are not prepared for?

National Academic and Character Team Databits 11 Comments

This question really cuts to the core of our understanding of computer adaptive assessments such as STAR as well as the instructional use and interpretation of grade level standards. Computer Adaptive Tests (CAT): The assessment tool adopted by Imagine Schools (STAR by Renaissance Learning) is a CAT. This means that it is designed to adjust the level of difficulty of …

Learning Gain and Student Growth Percentile

National Academic and Character Team Databits 4 Comments

Imagine has been using the concept of student growth for many years as an integral part of its educational philosophy and the basis of its school and teacher evaluation and accountability program. Indeed, Imagine has been a leader in the trend away from relying solely on static performance measures to utilizing measures of student gain. The structure of the learning …

Growth-Proficiency Redux

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The subject of Growth and Proficiency has been coming up in the literature a lot lately.  This may be a good thing for us, as Imagine has been leading the call to focus on student growth rather than proficiency for a long time now. Matt Barnum, in a recent article in the74million.org, took the opportunity to explain why the growth-versus-proficiency …

Advanced Students and Off Level Scoring

National Academic and Character Team Databits 4 Comments

Advanced students (PR of 90 or above) can present challenges in regard to assessment and interpretation of the results. In the days before Computer Aided Testing (CAT), there were individual test booklets for each grade that were designed to be able to properly assess approximately 90 – 95% of the student population at that grade level. In order to properly …

Proficiency and Learning Gains

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Why are my proficiency scores high yet my learning gains seem to be low? An Individual assessment score (e.g. Reading -Spring) indicates the academic status of a student at a particular point in time while learning gains measure the growth of a student from one point in time to a later point in time. An individual assessment score is converted …

Individual Student Prediction

National Academic and Character Team Databits 5 Comments

Why are my predictions frequently incorrect? In an earlier blog post, we discussed the difficulties involved in making individual student predictions, especially when we are attempting to make pass/fail predictions. Great care must be utilized when attempting to predict an individual student’s performance on a state test. Many idiosyncratic issues or occurrences can influence a student’s score on a single …

All These Numbers!

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Oh, my head hurts! What is the relationship between all of these different numbers representing my student’s performance on STAR (Scale Score, PR, NCE) and how are they used? Why do we complicate matters with the NCE? A Computer Adaptive Test (CAT), like the STAR assessments that we use, successively selects questions for the purpose of maximizing the precision of …

STAR Results and Proficiency Scores

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My state proficiency scores don’t agree with my STAR results, What’s going on? Proficiency is a statistically vague term that is defined in vastly different ways by different people. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines proficient as “well advanced in an art, occupation, or branch of knowledge”. This is fine, but there will be a lot of variation in what observers think …