Research-based, research proven

Developed by expert educators for teachers

Over 15 years ago, Dr. Michelle Hosp set out to create a better assessment that would help teachers guide phonics instruction for their students. Her research included an analysis of reading curriculums to ensure her new assessment focused on categories that commonly occur in English words. Additionally, she solicited input from national experts, such as Dr. Louisa Moats, and educators across the country, as well as testing hundreds of students.

The resulting assessment, first released in 2016 under the name KeyPhonics, is now used in schools in all 50 states. This technology-based screening and diagnostic assessment provides a fast, easy way to help students become proficient readers using data that informs which phonics categories to teach at a classroom, small group, and individual level.

Comprehensive Phonics Assessment

Efficient assessment in minimal time


Number of critical, common phonics categories assessed


Specific phonics skills assessed within those categories

Under 3


Time per student to administer a comprehensive phonics screener

Research, articles, and more

Recommended research and resources

Phonics assessment based on the Science of Reading

The creator of Star Phonics shares why she developed a technology-based phonics assessment and how it helps educators answer essential questions about reading instruction.

Selecting a phonics assessment

Use this checklist to help you select a phonics assessment that provides valuable, actionable data to inform phonics instruction.

Understand the conceptual framework for reading

Learn about the foundational research that uncovers the important role decoding plays in learning to read by pinpointing the source of difficulty to guide intervention and instruction.

Development and research behind the assessment

Learn about the development process and research completed to demonstrate the reliability and concurrent validity of Star Phonics.

More resources


Dr. Michelle Hosp, the creator of Star Phonics, explains why and how she developed this unique assessment.


See how Star Phonics works with other Renaissance products to support the Science of Reading.

Help all students master essential phonics skills

Discover why educators consider Star Phonics the best tool for assessing phonics skills.

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