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#98076 - 03/28/11 06:41 PM STAR Reading Test
lynn12345 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/27/11
Posts: 16
My DS5 took STAR reading test and scored years below what I would have expected. The school takes these scores VERY seriously. The one result from one day will probably seriously impact his placement/experience next year in school. I've asked that someone listen to him read a high level book and ask him some questions to see his reading ability, but I was told that the test is an accurate measure of reading levels. I asked my son his thoughts on the test, and he said he got to a question and wasn't sure and just stared at it until the time ran out on it :-) I still think something else must have gone wrong though because he should have been asked more questions. Since he's only 5, I can imagine a number of scenarios. Has anyone seen inaccuracies in the STAR ZPD reading levels? Any thoughts on why?

#98080 - 03/28/11 06:58 PM Re: STAR Reading Test [Re: lynn12345]
inky Offline

Registered: 10/10/08
Posts: 1299
This is what NWEA MAP has on their web site about triangulating data and it should apply to all assessments:

NWEA assessments and the resulting scores are among the most valid and reliable information available to educators. Nevertheless, no single instrument or data point should ever be used when making significant educational decisions about a student. In these situations, NWEA recommends using the principle of triangulation.
Triangulation is simply the process of using three points of data that say the same thing about a student when making educational decisions about that student. Any single assessment score - be it from MAP or any other assessment - is subject to environmental or motivational influences which can affect its accuracy. If a student is suffering from ill health or emotional stress which detract from their ability to perform to the best of their ability, that particular test data may be invalid. Likewise, if a student is resistant to the idea of testing, they may intentionally sabotage the test results by answering in a random or intentionally incorrect manner.

School personnel have a wealth of data available about their students, ranging from teacher-made tests and observations to periodic test results (like MAP), to state mandated assessments. Add to this the input from previous teachers, parents, and school records, and it is easy to see that obtaining a "body of evidence" regarding a student's educational status is well within the reach of school staff.

NWEA's assessment scores and the associated reports and resources provided are extremely useful tools for informing instruction in the classroom, but they should not be used in exclusion to other data sources. Using triangulation assures that the most informed and appropriate decisions are being made in behalf of each student.

#98088 - 03/28/11 09:25 PM Re: STAR Reading Test [Re: lynn12345]
jenner Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/10/10
Posts: 40
My DD8 scored at a 12.9 Grade Level Equivalent earlier this year, which seemed way off. She subsequently scored at a 6.8 and 7.3, which both seemed way more in line with her actual abilities. So our experience definitely backs up what inky says about triangulation!

#98108 - 03/29/11 07:28 AM Re: STAR Reading Test [Re: lynn12345]
cookiemom Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/08/10
Posts: 16
My experience with both my sons is that the scores jump around a fair amount. The school tests them every month or so in the Fall, and each child's most recent score determines the difficulty level at the beginning of the next test. So if a child scores really high in September, the October test will be hard. For my boys, after they hit 12.9, the next test would inevitably be lower.

By the same token, if your son had a poor result on this test, the next time he takes the test it will be easier and he will likely score higher.

That said, the swings for my boys were always within a few grade levels.

#98194 - 03/29/11 11:47 PM Re: STAR Reading Test [Re: lynn12345]
BooBoo Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/19/10
Posts: 42
My son's STAR reading level swings between 6 and 10 since 2nd grade. I'll guess 6 or 7 is more matching his true ability. It's a very short test, only take 2 to 3 minutes to finish. I see the test is only a reference for book choices but not true reading ability test.


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