Md. Ranks Among Nation's Leaders in College Preparation

National report gives state schools high marks for readying students for higher education

BALTIMORE (Dec. 5, 2008)—Maryland schools are among the very best in the nation at preparing students for college, according to a new report released Wednesday.

"Measuring Up: 2008," a report from the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, gave Maryland a grade of A- in college preparation. The report cited the state's strong record in Advanced Placement scores, noting it is the nation's "top state in student performance" on the rigorous exams.

Only six states received a grade in the A range in the report. Connecticut and Massachusetts received A's, while Colorado, New Jersey, and Vermont joined Maryland with an A- grade. Maryland has received an A- in preparation for college in each report since 2004.

"Our goal has always been to prepare our students for whatever direction they choose, be it college or employment," said State Superintendent of Schools Nancy S. Grasmick. "This report is another indication that we are on the right track here in Maryland."

The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, a San Jose, CA-based nonprofit organization, has been publishing "Measuring Up" on a biannual basis since 1990. The report also looks at college participation, affordability, completion, and benefits of a college education.

The report noted that Maryland has continued to improve its record in preparing students for college. Ninety percent of young adults in the state earn a high school diploma or GED by age 24, a growing number of students are taking algebra in the eighth grade, and students are performing very well on national assessments.

There remain performance gaps among racial subgroups, the report cautioned. African-American and Hispanic students complete a high school credential at a lower rate than White students, mirroring the completion patterns found throughout most of the nation.

Source: Md. State Dept. of Education

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