August 31, 2017

Renaissance assessments support Michigan Early Literacy Initiative

WISCONSIN RAPIDS, Wis. (August 31, 2017)Renaissance®, the leader in pre-K–12 learning analytics, announces the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) has approved its Renaissance Star Early Literacy® and Renaissance Star Reading® assessments to support K–3 early literacy initiatives in the state. Star Early Literacy and Star Reading are now approved for both initial and extensive assessments lists in Michigan.

As initial assessments, Star Early Literacy and Star Reading will be used as screeners to identify potential challenges for students in demonstrating literacy skills at grade level based on Michigan’s K–3 English Language Arts (ELA) standards. As extensive assessments, Star assessments will be administered to students who may need additional support as identified on the initial assessment or through formative and classroom assessments.

“Michigan’s Early Literacy Initiative brings an increased focus to a very important area for many school districts,” says Laurie Borkon, vice president of educational partnerships at Renaissance. “Early intervention is the single best predictor for future success of students, particularly in reading. We’re pleased our Star assessments can contribute to this initiative through the approved lists in Michigan.”

Dr. Shawn K. Wightman, superintendent of Marysville Public Schools in Marysville, Michigan, is an advocate for Star assessments as a solution to help teachers throughout the district quickly and accurately access data to monitor student improvement—for K–3 as well as upper grade levels.

“Our district has seen great improvement in our assessment results since we started using Star for grades K–8,” says Dr. Wightman. “Star assessments are reliable, valid, predictive, and have become our preferred solution to monitor students’ growth between interim assessments. I commend the state for making early literacy a high priority, and I’m confident that by putting a concerted effort into screening K–3 students statewide, we will see large early literacy gains in Michigan in the years to come.”

The computer-adaptive Star Early Literacy and Star Reading assessments give educators the insight to determine if students are on track to meeting third-grade reading standards—providing the opportunity to pivot instruction or establish appropriate interventions as soon as possible. The assessments help educators answer essential questions related to screening, progress monitoring, proficiency, standards mastery, and instructional planning.

To continue to provide educators with resources to support early literacy initiatives, Renaissance is hosting a free live webinar, Kick-Start School Success with Early Literacy, on Wednesday, Oct. 4. During this webinar, presenter Pati Montgomery, award-winning education leader, literacy expert, and school innovator, will share insights on how today’s elementary educators can use early literacy best practices to boost reading achievement and give young learners the best start in school.

For additional information on Star Early Literacy, visit:, and for more information on Star Reading, visit:

About Renaissance

Renaissance® is the leader in pre-K–12 learning analytics—enabling teachers, curriculum creators, and educators to drive phenomenal student growth. Renaissance’s solutions help educators analyze, customize, and plan personalized learning paths for students, allowing time for what matters—creating energizing learning experiences in the classroom. Founded by parents, upheld by educators, and enriched by data scientists, Renaissance knows learning is a continual journey—from year to year and for a lifetime. Our data-driven, personalized solutions are currently used in over one-third of U.S. schools and more than 60 countries around the world. For more information, visit

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Katie Waite
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