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Safe Harbor

An alternate method for a school to meet AMO if it shows progress in moving students from scoring at the "below proficient" level to the "proficient" level or above on STAR, CAHSEE, and/or CAPA. The state, school districts, and schools may still make AYP if each subgroup that fails to reach its proficiency performance targets reduces its percentage of students not meeting standards by 10 percent of the previous year's percentage, plus the subgroup must meet the attendance rate or graduation rate targets. (Dataquest)

SAT (Standardized Achievement Test

Also known as the SAT Reasoning Test (formerly called Scholastic Aptitude Test), this test is widely used as a college entrance examination. Scores can be compared to state and national averages of seniors graduating from any public or private school. (Ed-data)


This was formerly know as the Achievement Tests and was renamed the SAT II: Subject Tests. They are administered by the College Board and widely used as a college entrance exam. Students may take the test more than once, but only the highest score is reported at the year of graduation.


The range of scores possible for the student to achieve on a test or an assessment. Performance assessments typically use a 4- to 6-point scale compared to a scale of 100 or more with traditional multiple-choice tests.

School Accountability Report Card (SARC)

An annual disclosure report for parents and the public produced by a school that presents student achievement, test scores, teacher credentials, dropout rates, class sizes, resources, and more. The SARC is required by state and federal law.

School Improvement Program (SIP)

A state-funded program for elementary, intermediate, and secondary schools to improve instruction, services, school environment and organization at school sites according to plans developed by School Site Councils (see School Site Council).

School Site Council (SSC)

A group of teachers, parents, administrators, and interested community members who work together to develop and monitor a school's improvement plan. It is a legally required decision-making body for any school receiving federal funds (see School Improvement Plan).

Scientific Knowledge

Knowledge that provides people with the conceptual and technological tools to explain and describe how the world works.

Scientifically Based Research

Research that involves the application of rigorous, systemic, and objective procedures to obtain reliable and valid knowledge relevant to educational activities and programs. (Ed Source)

Scoring Guide

A set of guidelines for rating student work. A scoring guide describes what is being assessed provides a scoring scale and helps the teacher or rater correctly place work on the scale. (See rubrics.)

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