For purposes of comparability and reporting, scaled scores must be computed that reflect student performance on commercial tests and state accountability tests. However, concerns about scaled scores not providing information about what students know and can do have been addressed by the use of performance level reporting. Based their scores, students are put into categories for which there are general descriptions of the capabilities of typical students within the categories. However, a particular category can include students representing a broad range of ability. Yet they are given the same performance designation and associated with the same performance level description. In the same vein, students scoring just on either side of a particular benchmark score separating two levels are categorized differently and their capabilities described very differently. Scaled scores and performance levels are important for consumers of student academic test results to understand.
“Scaled Scores and Performance Levels: The Nuts and Bolts behind Them and Issues with Their Use” by Stuart Kahl9 Scaled Scores and PLs