This year we are beginning a new program at Bishop Alemany to closely identify ways to inform our curriculum with various types of assessment. One of those is STAR Testing. Many of our families are already familiar with STAR testing at their previous elementary/middle school. The first of three testing windows for STAR this year begins this week.
To assess the start of the year level of your child’s understanding in mathematics and English language arts (ELA), this week your child will be taking the STAR assessment. This first year at Bishop Alemany, the STAR assessment will be administered to 9th and 10th grade students. The STAR assessment will give classroom teachers more detailed information on students’ progress as a means to better inform instruction. Teachers and departments can use testing data to hone their curricular approach to an entire class and even individual students. It has the potential to allow us to target our curriculum in a very direct way.
All STAR assessments are computer-adaptive tests (CATs). This means that tests continually adjust the difficulty of each child’s test by choosing each test question based on the child’s previous response. If the child answers a question correctly, the difficulty level of the next item is increased. If the child misses a question, the difficulty level is decreased. CATs save testing time and spare your child the frustration of items that are too difficult and the boredom of items that are too easy.
STAR tests are designed to be as efficient as possible. On average, students will complete the STAR Math and Reading tests in about 30 to 40 minutes, however, some students may require more time.
STAR assessments can also be used to monitor student growth throughout the year and to estimate students’ understanding of the material covered in class. The best way for parents to prepare their child for the STAR assessment is in the same ways he or she performs best in school – by getting plenty of rest, attending school regularly, and eating a healthy breakfast. Information will be available regarding your students’ scores in November.