Placement Levels in Instructional Practice

When you plan assignments, you will see a placement level.

If students have taken Star Math tests, this is an estimate of the median Scaled Score for the students if they were to take the Star Math test on the first day of the selected time period. This estimate is based on Star assessment data and Renaissance's student growth models; it allows you to use Star's proven validity and reliability to have a good sense of your student's achievement level as of today. The placement level is calculated using some of the students' recent tests and typical growth rates (see Student Growth Percentile). For more information, select on the right side of the page.

Ideally, groups of students are placed in the Learning Progression based on their Student Growth Percentile or their scores on prior Star Math tests. 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 the Learning Progression for Math

  • The preferred data/score for placement is the Student Growth Percentile in math.
  • If there is no Student Growth Percentile in math, the most recent Star Math test score is used.
  • If there is no Star Math test score, calculated placement is used.

Calculated Placement

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 Student Growth Percentile calculations to give each student an end-of-year (spring) Student Growth Percentile; 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:

  1. The student met the end-of-year proficiency requirements for the student's grade and state, and
  2. 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 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.

If the group of students has been placed much higher/lower on the learning progression than you expected:

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).

The score below the placement level is the score currently selected  in the slider control. Clicking the left arrow moves to lower/earlier scores in the Star Scale.  Clicking the right arrow moves to higher/later scores in the Star Scale.