Ideally, groups of students are placed in the Learning Progressions for reading and math based on their SGP or their scores on prior Star assessments. However, there are instances where a group of students has no prior testing to go by. In this case, an appropriate placement is calculated ahead of time.
Test Data/Scores Used to Place Students on Learning Progression
- Preferred data/score for placement: SGP in reading
- If no SGP in reading: most recent Star Reading test score
- If no Star Reading test score: SGP in early literacy
- If no SGP in early literacy: most recent Star Early Literacy test score
- If no Star Early Literacy test score: use calculated placement (described below)
- Preferred data/score for placement: SGP in math
- If no SGP in math: most recent Star Math test score
- If no Star Math test score: use calculated placement (described below)
Renaissance has run thousands of simulated Star tests, creating a pool of testing data for “hypothetical” students in every grade. This data was passed through our SGP calculations to give each student an end-of-year (spring) SGP; the data was also compared to the cut scores for every state.
For each grade and state, a student was selected from the data pool who met two qualifications:
- The student met the end-of-year proficiency requirements for the student’s grade and state, and
- the student was in the 50th percentile of his/her peers.
This means that for every grade in every state, we can take this student and reverse-engineer that student’s journey through the school year, calculating the student’s placement in the learning progression (reading and math) for any given date within the school year. That calculated placement is used to place groups of students who have no test data/scores of their own.
“This group of students has been placed much higher/lower on the learning progression than I expected. Why is that?”
When placements are calculated, they take into account the standards set by the state. If your state has very high standards set, the path through the learning progression will start and end higher than normal. This may result in students being assigned skills that are a grade or two above their actual grade level (the converse is also true).