Campuses across the HISD utilize a variety of literacy assessments to measure student growth and achievement. The comparability of various assessments of literacy achievement and growth adopted for use by the Houston Independent School District (HISD) was the focus of this study. Renaissance 360 is the universal screener used by campuses throughout the district. In contrast, Benchmark Running Records (BRR) are campus-specific, and each campus is able to select which BRR to use. Although results from various BRRs are generally treated as comparable by the district, this study suggests the results from various BRRs may not always be comparable, and the district may want to use caution when comparing BRR results across campuses that use different BRR assessments.

Key findings include:

  • When looking at all English Benchmark Running Records and Renaissance 360, the matching proficient and not-proficient rates were similar. Seventy-six percent of students who were proficient on Renaissance 360 were also proficient on their campus’ BRR assessment and 80% of students who were not proficient on Renaissance 360 were also not proficient on their campus’ BRR assessment.
  • For English assessments, the match rate between Renaissance 360 and Benchmark Running Records varied based on the Benchmark Running Record used. Students who took the Scholastic and DRA2 BRRs were significantly more likely to have matching proficient results when compared to those that took the Next Steps and F&P BRRs. In contrast, students who took the DRA2, Next Steps, and F&P BRRs were more likely to have matching not-proficient results when compared to those that took the Scholastic BRR.
  • Spanish Benchmark Running Records were more like to have matching proficient rates than matching not-proficient rates. Ninety-four percent of students who were proficient on Renaissance 360 were also proficient on their campus’ BRR assessment, while only 37% of students who were not proficient on Renaissance 360 were not proficient on their campus’s BRR assessment.
  • For Spanish assessments, the match rate between Renaissance 360 and Benchmark Running Records did not vary based on the Benchmark Running Record used. Both the Sistema and Oral Reading Records BRRs provided similar matching proficient and not-proficient rates when compared to Renaissance 360.
Issues