STAR (Standardized Testing and Reporting Program) Background

The California Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) Program contains test results for schools, counties, districts, and the state for the four components of the STAR Program:

  • California Standards Tests (CSTs)
  • California Alternate Performance Assessment (CAPA)
  • California Achievement Tests, Sixth Edition Survey (CAT/6 Survey)
  • Spanish Assessment of Basic Education, Second Edition (SABE/2)

Test results should not be compared with other standardized test results like the CLAS exam, which was terminated in 1994.

The State Board of Education initially designated the Stanford Achievement Test Series, Ninth Edition (Stanford 9) as the national norm-referenced achievement tests for the STAR Program. This was replaced in 2003 by the California Achievement Tests, Sixth Edition Survey (CAT/6 Survey). Users of these summary results should use extreme caution in making direct comparisons between test results in 1998-2002 and later years because these results come from two test series with different formats and difficulty levels.

During the 1998-99 school year, multiple-choice questions were developed specifically to assess the California English-Language Arts and Mathematics Content Standards. The California Standards Tests (CSTs) evolved from these intitial content standards tests. The purpose of the CSTs is to determine students' achievement of the California Academic Content Standards for each grade or course. The CSTs are a major component of California's accountability system for schools and districts. CST and CAPA results are the major component used for calculating each school's Academic Performance Index (API). These results are also used for determining if elementary and middle schools are making adequate yearly progress in helping all students become proficient on the state's academic content standards as required by the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. High school students may also use CST results to qualify for the California Golden State Seal Merit Diploma.

The California Alternate Performance Assessment (CAPA) test is an individually administered assessment for students with significant cognitive disabilities whose disabilities that preclude them from taking the CSTs and CAT/6 Survey.

The Spanish Assessment of Basic Education, Second Edition (SABE/2) serves as the primary language test for the Program.

For more information, contact the California Department of Education.