Cut Scores, Benchmarks, and Benchmark Structures

Several of the Star Early Literacy reports use cut scores, benchmarks, and benchmark structures to identify students who are having difficulty.

  • A cut score is simply a Percentile Rank (PR) score. Grade-by-grade distributions of Star Early Literacy scores from the Calibration and Validation studies are used as the basis for the Percentile Rank score reported in Star Early Literacy.
  • Cut scores that are chosen as targets for students to meet or surpass are benchmarks.

    • School benchmarks are targets that apply to every student in a school (each grade has its own benchmarks).
    • District benchmarks are targets that apply to every student in a school district.
    Each type of benchmark can have different values; for example, school benchmarks may be set higher than district benchmarks. One of these benchmarks can be chosen as a default benchmark (to be used in situations where a benchmark is required but one hasn't been chosen).
  • The number of categories, the category names, the minimum proficiency level chosen, and the grade they all apply to create a benchmark structure. There are four default categories, but the number of categories in the structure can be changed from two to five.

    Category Description Default Cut Score
          At/Above Benchmark (green) Students meeting or exceeding the benchmark score At/Above 40 PR
          On Watch (blue) Students slightly below the benchmark score Automatically calculated as the range between "At/Above Benchmark" and "Intervention"
          Intervention (yellow) Students below the benchmark score Below 25 PR
          Urgent Intervention (red) Students far below the benchmark score Below 10 PR
Click one of the following links for instructions on how to change the number of categories in the structure and the cut scores and benchmarks that define them.

Star Early Literacy
Viewing benchmarks
Editing benchmarks School Editing school benchmark structure
Editing school cut scores
District Editing district benchmark structure
Editing district cut scores
Selecting a default benchmark District level administrators and district staff
School level administrators and school staff

For additional information, see Unified Benchmarks and Cut Scores.