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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 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 […]
July 28, 2020

What teachers and administrators need to know about remote testing

As summer starts to wind down, you’re no doubt thinking about the new school year. This year, Back-to-School involves a lot of new questions and challenges due to COVID-19. How can you keep everyone safe? Will students be learning in […]
June 26, 2020

Keep moving forward: Promoting positive outcomes for all learners

What can Star data tell us about the efficacy of distance learning? Why will interim assessment be key in 2020–2021 and beyond?
June 26, 2020

Measure student growth: Monitoring progress throughout the year

How will school closures impact student growth? And how can you best measure growth during the 2020–2021 school year?
June 19, 2020

Check for mastery: Closing gaps in student learning

Is “mastery” a realistic goal in the new school year? If so, how can you measure it—and help your students achieve it?
June 12, 2020

Focus your efforts: Identifying what matters the most

Which skills are most critical at each grade level? Will focusing on these skills really help you to reverse learning loss?
June 5, 2020

Consider the whole child: The power of social-emotional learning

What emotional impact did the recent school closures have on students? Why will SEL be so critical in the new school year?