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Renaissance® Blog

Shareable tips and insightful thoughts on K–12 education. Subscribe to the Renaissance Newsletter and get the latest posts delivered straight to your inbox.

September 25, 2020

6 myths about emergent bilinguals

Note: This is the second blog in a two-part series about bilingualism and biliteracy. To read the first blog in the series, click here. Schools across the US are using Star Assessments in Spanish and English to assess their emergent […]
September 22, 2020

How to set equitable goals this school year

By Dr. Gene Kerns, Vice President and Chief Academic Officer For many of us, fall screening may look a bit different this year, especially if we’re assessing students remotely. Nonetheless, we’ll soon have—or may already have—our fall screening results. Based […]
September 18, 2020

Quizzing at home in Accelerated Reader

Last spring, educators who use Accelerated Reader had two key questions for us, as they worked to quickly transition from in-person to remote instruction. (1) Does Accelerated Reader support at-home quizzing? (2) If so, can you provide us with guidance […]
September 11, 2020

Assessing emergent bilinguals: Celebra lo que saben

By Doris Chávez-Linville, Director of English Learner Innovations, and Dr. Carol Johnson, National Education Officer According to estimates, between 60 and 75 percent of the world’s population speak two or more languages. The benefits of bilingualism are well documented: A […]
September 9, 2020

How the new Star CBM supports distance learning

By Dr. Scott McConnell, Director of Assessment Innovation The 2020–2021 school year is shaping up to be like nothing we’ve seen before—and will hopefully never see again. Schools have been planning for a variety of scenarios, including in-person instruction, remote […]
September 3, 2020

The making of an Accelerated Reader quiz

Every school day, hundreds of thousands of students assess their reading comprehension by taking a Reading Practice Quiz in Accelerated Reader. More than 210,000 AR quizzes are available on a wide range of books, and districts can allow students to […]
September 1, 2020

In response to: Should we assess students this fall?

By Dr. Gene Kerns, Vice President and Chief Academic Officer Recently, there’s been a lot of chatter about the role of assessment in the new school year. Should we or should we not assess students this fall? If so, in […]
August 28, 2020

Assessing with equity: Lessons learned from an early equity model

Note: This is the third and final blog in a series on assessment’s “new normal.” To read the previous blog in the series, click here. In 1948, a local school district in a medium-sized town partnered with a private, home-based […]
August 21, 2020

Why “Focus” and “Mastery” will be so critical this school year

Note: This is the second in a series of blogs on assessment’s “new normal”. To read the first blog in the series, click here. Chances are, you’re familiar with the saying “Building the airplane while flying it.” It certainly describes […]
August 14, 2020

Understanding assessment’s “new normal”

You may not have heard of a French writer named Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr, but you’ve probably heard his most famous phrase: “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” Karr, who was also a teacher and a lover […]
August 7, 2020

Using Focus Skills to close COVID-19 learning gaps

As we begin the 2020–2021 school year, there’s no shortage of advice about how to meet students’ needs, given the disruption caused by COVID-19 last spring. Although the language may vary, multiple authors and agencies begin with a key recommendation: Prioritize the most critical skills and knowledge in each subject area and focus your attention there.
July 30, 2020

What students and parents need to know about remote testing

In our previous blog, we discussed key considerations for educators around the remote administration of Star Assessments. This includes issues like scheduling, maintaining test security, and accurately interpreting the results. In this blog, we’ll look at additional remote testing considerations—but […]