The New FCAT NRT Stanford Achievement Test Series, Tenth Edition (SAT-10)
In March 2005, Florida public school students in Grades 3 through 10 will take a new version of the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test Norm-Referenced Test (FCAT NRT). A new FCAT NRT was required due to the out-of-date norms of the previous FCAT NRT, the Stanford Achievement Test Series, Ninth Edition (Stanford 9 or SAT9). The Florida Department of Education selected the Stanford Achievement Test Series, Tenth Edition (Stanford 10 or SAT10), through a competitive bid process that considered both the technical qualities of the test and the cost. This document provides a summary of the differences between Stanford 9 and Stanford 10.
Stanford 10 Overview
Stanford 10 is a research-based, norm-referenced achievement test developed by Harcourt Assessment, Inc. It provides information on student performance based on its nationwide standardization program conducted in the spring and fall of 2002. While maintaining some facets of Stanford 9, Stanford 10 also includes many new features designed to measure Florida’s students’ progress in comparison to the progress of students nationwide.
Every item on Stanford 10 is classified into one of the two following major cognitive categories:
● Basic Understanding – Items measure the ability to recall or recognize factual information, such as the ability to identify a number as odd or even and the ability to identify a fact that is explicitly stated in a story. Approximately 20% of the reading test questions and approximately 15% of the mathematics test questions fall into this category.
● Thinking Skills – Items measure the ability to analyze and synthesize information; to classify and sequence information; to compare and contrast information; to evaluate information in order to determine cause and effect, fact and opinion, and relevance and irrelevance; and to interpolate and/or extrapolate in order to draw conclusions, make predictions, and hypothesize. Approximately 80% of the reading test questions and approximately 85% of the mathematics test questions fall into this category.
The Reading Comprehension test is composed of reading selections and questions about each selection. The narrative and informational selections reflect the kinds of fiction and nonfiction students read in school. They have been written for Stanford 10 and were written to appeal to students of different backgrounds, experiences, and interests. Examples of reading comprehension questions are found on the next page.
Students read and answer questions about the following types of reading material:
● Literary – material typically read for enjoyment or literary merit, including folk tales, historical fiction, contemporary fiction, humor, and poetry. Approximately one-third of the reading selections fall into the literary category.
● Informational – material typically found in textbooks and other sources of information, including content from the natural, physical, and social sciences. Approximately one- third of the reading selections fall into the informational category.
● Functional – material typically encountered in everyday life, such as directions, forms, labels, and advertisements. Approximately one-third of the reading selections fall into the functional category.
The test questions are classified by these standards:
● Initial Understanding – comprehend explicitly stated details or relationships in a variety of reading selections
● Interpretation – form an interpretation of a variety of reading selections based on implicit information in the selections and discern ideas that go beyond the text
● Critical Analysis – synthesize and evaluate explicit and implicit information in a variety of reading selections
● Strategies – recognize and describe strategies used by the author or apply appropriate reader strategies in given situations
Mathematics test questions require students to use logical reasoning and non-routine problem- solving strategies. Each test question is classified according to its mathematics content and the mathematics process it assesses. Examples of mathematics problem-solving test questions are found on the next page.
● Number Sense and Operations – understand the meaning and use of numbers, the various representations of numbers, number systems, and the relationships between and among numbers; demonstrate understanding of the meaning of operations, the relationship between operations, and the practical settings in which a specific operation or set of operations is appropriate
● Patterns, Relationships, and Algebra – describe, complete, continue, and demonstrate understanding of patterns involving numbers, symbols, and geometric figures (Patterns with numbers include those found in lists, function tables, ratios and proportions, and matrices.); demonstrate understanding of elementary algebraic principles as found in the relationships between mathematical situations and algebraic symbolism
● Data, Statistics, and Probability – describe, interpret, and make predictions based on the analysis of data presented in a variety of ways, including graphs, plots, tables, and lists; demonstrate understanding of basic probability concepts
● Geometry and Measurement – understand the characteristics and properties of plane and solid figures, coordinate geometry, and spatial reasoning; understand the meaning and use of various measurement systems, the tools of measurement, and the integral role of estimation in measurement. Students use a ruler marked in inches and centimeters to work some measurement items.
● Communication and Representation – understand mathematical symbols and terms and correctly interpret alternative representations of numbers, expressions, and data
● Estimation – apply estimation strategies in problem solving and determine the reasonableness of results
● Mathematical Connections – understand the interrelatedness of mathematical concepts, procedures, and processes both among different mathematical topics and with other content areas
● Reasoning and Problem Solving – apply inductive, deductive, or spatial reasoning and make valid inferences and draw valid conclusions; apply strategies to solve conventional and non-routine problems
The new FCAT NRT is a measurement of achievement of reading comprehension and mathematics problem solving based on generalized national standards. Results from these assessments, in combination with other indicators of achievement, will help teachers plan instruction and identify children who are at risk.
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