WISCONSIN RAPIDS, Wis. (July 23, 2018) – Renaissance®, a leader in pre-K–12 learning analytics, announced today that the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) has approved Renaissance Star Assessments® as universal reading screeners in kindergarten through third grade, beginning in the fall of 2018.
MDE, in collaboration with the Mississippi Reading Panel, selected Star Assessments to determine whether each student is likely to meet, not meet, or exceed academic benchmarks, and to identify the need for intervention and tiered support. The assessments align to Mississippi College- and Career-Readiness Standards, helping inform educators’ instructional decisions to reduce gaps in reading achievement.
Lowndes County School District in Columbus, Mississippi, uses Star Assessments in its elementary schools to track students’ performance, monitor growth, and predict state test scores. Christy Adams, principal at the district’s New Hope Elementary School, said that Star data helps educators at her school compare how their primary-grade students are performing in relation to the state’s accountability model.
“It is amazing how close Star’s ‘projected performance’ report is to actual scores,” said Adams. “We feel better knowing that kindergarten through second-grade students are being held to a high standard, and that students are ready for third grade and the state assessments.”
“We look forward to continuing to work with educators in Mississippi to identify and achieve their students’ reading growth goals in these critical early years,” said Jason Sutch, senior vice president of government affairs at Renaissance. “It’s been very rewarding to support educators in the state with the tools they need to measure and track reading growth, setting the foundation for students’ future academic success.”
In 2017, MDE announced that, for the third year in a row, the majority of pre-K and kindergarten students who took the statewide Star Early Literacy assessment made significant academic gains. This Kindergarten Readiness Assessment is given in all Mississippi public pre-kindergarten and kindergarten classrooms in the fall and spring of each year. This is the fourth year the state has used Star Early Literacy assessments to capture growth for its youngest students. The assessments provide a natural progression from pre-kindergarten through third grade, so educators can view complete, continuous data for each student.
Educators in Mississippi use the computer adaptive Star Assessments to screen an entire class in approximately 20 minutes, allowing teachers more time to focus on delivering personalized instruction that meets each child’s needs. These assessments also help teachers identify which students in kindergarten through third grade are at risk of missing grade-level performance benchmarks, and they’re able to use this data to proactively adjust instruction and improve student reading outcomes before end-of-year testing occurs.
For more information about Star Early Literacy, please visit: https://www.renaissance.com/products/assessment/star-360/star-early-literacy-skills/, and to learn more about Star Reading, please visit: https://www.renaissance.com/products/assessment/star-360/star-reading-skills/.
Renaissance® is a 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 70 countries around the world. For more information, visit www.renaissance.com.
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