Glossary of Terms


    • Partially proficient –The level achieved by a student that is considered to be below the state minimum level of proficiency. (For State tests – Score is 100-199)
    • Proficient – The level achieved by a student which indicates a solid understanding of the content measured. (For State tests – Score is 200-249)
    • Advanced proficient - The level achieved by a student that indicates a comprehensive and in-depth understanding of the knowledge and skills measured in the content area. (For State tests – Score is 250-300)

Click on the link below for a breakdown of definitions for proficient and advanced proficient for each grade level

  • JUST PROFICIENT MEAN: The average point received in each cluster by all the students in the State whose scale scores are 200 (the starting point of the proficient range) for a particular content area. (SPA- This represents the mean score for all students who had the cut score of 125/126 in the three districts).
  • RAW SCORE - This is simply the number of questions a student has answered correctly. Because of the differences in length and content of the tests and subtests, these scores cannot be compared across subtests or tests.
  • SCALED SCORE - This forms an equal interval scale in which each unit of difference is equal to every other unit of difference throughout the scale. These are used to compare performance from year to year. And hence, you can compare results from different forms or levels of the test that are administrated.
  • CLUSTER SCORE - A “cluster” is a group of related testquestions on a single topic. The score represents the number of points earned for that cluster.
  • PERCENTILE RANK - Percentile rank identifies the percentage of a student’s peer group (e.g., grade level) that a student’s score surpassed. Percentile rank is useful in comparing an individual student's performance with those of other students within a defined group. For example, a student receives a test score of 66 and a percentile rank of 83. This means that a score of 66 is higher than 83% of the comparison group. A National Percentile is the percent of students in a norm group whose scores fall below a student’s score; a Local Percentile is the percent of students in a local group whose scores fall below a student’s score.
  • OBJECTIVES PERFORMANCE INDEX (OPI) – The objective performance index (OPI) is an estimate number of items that a student could be expected to answer correctly if there had been 100 such items for that objective.
  • PERFORMACNE STANDARD / LEVEL - A Level of performance on a test, established by education experts, as a goal of student attainment. May also refer to a description of the knowledge, skills, and abilities typically held by students within a performance level.
  • NORMAL CURVE EQUIVALENT (NCE) – The normal curve equivalent (NCE) scale, ranging from 1 to 99, coincides with the national percentile scale at 1, 50, and 99. NCEs have many of the same characteristics as percentile ranks, but have additional advantage of being based on an equal-interval scale.
  • ADEQUATE YEARLY PROGRESS (AYP) - The proportion of all students and their respective subgroups meeting or exceeding the new state standards, annually until 2014, when 100 percent proficiency is achieved in Language Arts Literacy and Mathematics.
  • SAFE HARBOR – Safe harbor is another way to meet the standards for subgroups. It is attained if the proportion of students in the subgroups scoring partially proficient is reduced by 10% over the previous year.