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Renaissance STAR Testing

Renaissance Star Assessments are computer-adaptive assessments that measure students’ reading and math skills, monitor achievement and growth, and track how well students understand skills aligned to state and Common Core standards. Star testing identifies students meeting grade- and term-level benchmarks in literacy and math and those needing additional support or interventions. Students take the STAR assessments three times a year, in fall, winter, and spring, to measure their progress throughout the year. 
STAR assessments are timed, adaptive, and administered on a computer. This means there is a time limit for each question (up to 3 minutes), and questions become more or less challenging depending on student responses (for example, if a student answers a question incorrectly, the next question may be more straightforward). Therefore, two students taking the same assessment may receive different question sets depending on their responses.
Students log in to complete testing here:
Star Reading assesses students’ skills in vocabulary, reading comprehension, analyzing literary text, understanding the author’s craft, analyzing arguments, and evaluating text. Students complete a total of 34 reading questions, including ten questions about vocabulary in context and a range of questions spanning the domains. However, the number of questions in each domain presented to a student depends on their grade. Students are assessed in the following five domains:
  • Vocabulary, Word Knowledge, and Skills: Measures students’ knowledge and understanding of vocabulary and ability to apply vocabulary strategies.
  • Comprehension Strategies and Constructing Meaning: Short passages ask students to use strategies such as self-monitoring, making predictions, drawing conclusions, and using the organizational structure of the text to improve understanding.
  • Analyzing Literary Text: Students are asked to explore the plot, setting, character, theme, and point of view in literary text, as well as the characteristics of different genres.
  • Understanding Author’s Craft: Measures students’ understanding and analysis of an author’s use of language and literary devices to create specific effects.
  • Analyzing Argument and Evaluating Text: Asks students to recognize, analyze, and evaluate arguments in persuasive, editorial, and academic writing.
Star Math assesses students’ skills in numbers and operations, algebra, geometry, and measurement, and data analysis, statistics, and probability. Students are asked a total of 34 math questions. However, the number of questions in each domain presented to a student depends on their grade.
  • Numbers and Operations: Measures students’ ability to count and compare numbers; add, subtract, multiply, and divide whole numbers, fractions, and decimals. This domain also covers primes, square roots, percentages, and numerical expressions.
  • Algebra: Students are asked to graph points and functions, evaluate variables, solve linear and nonlinear equations, simplify expressions, and complete other key algebraic tasks.
  • Geometry and Measurement: Measures students’ ability to identify shapes, lines, and angles; determine and convert measurements; tell time; calculate the perimeter, area, volume, and surface area of shapes; and determine missing measurements or dimensions.
Star measures student performance and growth using multiple metrics. The school uses three primary metrics when monitoring student proficiency and growth:
  • Scaled Score: A student’s scaled score is calculated based on the difficulty of the questions and the number of correct responses. Because the same range of questions is used for students across all grade levels, scaled scores can be used to compare student performance across grade levels. All norm-referenced scores, such as the Percentile Rank and SGP (see below), are based on a student’s scaled score. Both Star Reading and Math scaled scores range from 0 to 1400.
  • Percentile Rank: A student’s percentile rank is a norm-referenced performance measure that compares a student’s scaled score to her grade-level peers nationwide. The Percentile Rank is useful for understanding a student’s reading ability compared to other students in the same grade nationally.
  • Tier: Based on a student’s Percentile Rank, students are categorized into one of four performance Tiers, which indicate the level of intervention students need in order to reach proficiency:
    • Intensive Intervention (Below the 10th percentile)
    • Strategic Intervention (Between and including the 10th percentile and the 24th percentile)
    • On Watch (between and including the 25th percentile and the 39th percentile)
    • At/Above Benchmark (the 40th percentile or above).