Deciphering kids' test scores can be almost as complicated for parents as taking the exams is for students.

Results of the state's Standardized Testing and Reporting, or STAR, exams arrived in family mailboxes during the past month, showing parents how their sons and daughters measured up against other California students in math, English and other subjects.

But some may wonder what all the numbers really mean.

Based on parent feedback, the state has developed a Web site — www.starsamplequestions.org — that includes questions, answers and student performance levels in an easy-to-understand way.

A parent whose child scored "proficient" in fifth-grade math can see which questions the student was asked and how he or she answered them. PTA representatives, who helped create the site, hope parents will use it to work at home with their children and better understand themselves what the tests are about.

The site help takes the mystery out of STAR testing and shows everyone what California students are expected to learn.

Online
  • School test scores are at www.cde.ca.gov/ta/ac/ar/index.asp.
  • A Web site for parents explaining student performance levels is at www.starsamplequestions.org