New York State Testing Program (Grades 3-8)
All students in grades 3 through 8 are required to complete state assessments in English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics. Additionally, a state science examination is required for students in grades 4 and 8.
State assessments will be given on the following dates in 2017-18:
- English Language Arts (Grades 3-8): April 11-13
- Mathematics (Grades 3-8): May 1-3
- Science (Grades 4 & 8 ) Performance Test: April 9-May 18
- Science (Grades 4 & 8 ) Written Test: May 7-May 18
The state assessments in ELA and Math are aligned to the Common Core Learning Standards. These standards aim to ensure that all students develop foundational skills in literacy and math that support their readiness for success in college or career. As state assessments shift to reflect these higher expectations for student learning, we may expect the following:
- Reading passages will be authentic, with increased emphasis on non-fiction and reading for information.
- Reading passages will be longer and more rigorous than on past tests.
- Writing tasks will require students to respond directly to reading passages – to inform, describe, explain, or respond, using specific details from the text to support their claims.
- Math problems may often require students to solve problems in a real-world application.
- Math questions may address more than one skill or concept, and may require multiple steps to solve a problem.
Parent’s Guide to Star Assessments
Students in the Pine Bush Central School District take computer-adaptive Star assessments two to three times each school year. This guide will help you understand the assessment and answer some frequently asked questions.
What are Star assessments used for?
Star diagnostic assessments are used to screen students for their reading and math achievement levels. Star Enterprise assessments are also used to monitor student growth throughout the year, to estimate students’ understanding of state standards, and predict students’ performance on the state test. In addition, Star helps teachers determine appropriate instructional levels and skills that students are ready to learn.
What are computer-adaptive tests?
Computer-adaptive tests (CATs) 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. All STAR assessments are computer-adaptive tests.
How long does it take to complete a Star assessment?
Star tests are designed to be as efficient as possible. On average, students will complete the STAR Math Enterprise test in about 20 minutes, the Star Reading Enterprise test in about 15 minutes, and the Star Early Literacy Enterprise test in 15-20 minutes. However, some students may require more time.
How can I help my child prepare for a Star assessment?
The teacher who gives the test uses pre-test instructions to explain the test to your child. It is important for you to encourage your child to try to do his or her best on the assessment. Since Star is a general measure of student ability in math or reading, students perform best on the assessment in the same way they perform best in school – when they have had plenty of rest, attend school regularly, and have eaten.
How will I know how my child is doing?
Please ask your child’s teacher for the results. Teachers can run a Parent Report for any of the Star tests. Often teachers share this information during a parent/teacher conference.