LA PLATA, Md. (Sept. 29, 2016)—The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) released local school system and school-level data Tuesday for PARCC, Maryland's new school assessments in English Language Arts/Literacy and mathematics. Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) students showed steady growth in most subjects and grades.
"We made some nice strides and improvements," Deputy Superintendent Amy Hollstein said. "Assessment data is just one tool we use to improve teaching and learning. These individualized student reports will help schools ensure that students are receiving the appropriate instruction needed to reach college and career readiness goals," Hollstein said.
According to MSDE, for students in grades 3 through 8, achieving level 4 or 5 indicates their readiness for coursework in English and math at the next grade, with the goal of preparing students to enter college or a career upon graduation. Starting next school year, students taking Algebra I and English II will be required to reach a certain proficiency level as a high school graduation requirement.
County scores, elementary schools
Mathematics: Overall, students in grades 3-5 scored 36.1 percent at levels 4 and 5, up from 28.9 percent in 2015. Fifth-grade students scored 28.8 percent at levels 4 and 5; fourth-grade students scored 36.8 percent at levels 4 and 5; and third-grade students scored 42.7 percent at levels 4 and 5.
English/ Language Arts: Overall, students in grades 3-5 scored 37.4 percent at levels 4 and 5, up from 33.8 percent in 2015. Fifth-grade students scored 33.6 percent at levels 4 and 5; fourth-grade students scored 42.1 percent at levels 4 and 5; and third-grade students scored 36.5 percent at levels 4 and 5.
County scores, middle schools
Mathematics: Overall, 21.8 percent of middle school students scored a combined score of 4 and 5 on the mathematics assessment, up from 19.7 in 2015. Students in eighth grade taking the mathematics assessment scored 10.4 percent at levels 4 and 5; students in seventh grade scored 27.7 percent at levels 4 and 5; and students in sixth grade scored 27.5 percent at levels 4 and 5.
English/Language Arts: Overall, 35.5 percent of middle school students scored at levels 4 and 5 combined, up from 30.4 in 2015. Countywide, students in eighth grade scored 34.6 percent at levels 4 and 5; students in seventh grade scored 37.8 percent at levels 4 and 5; and students in sixth grade scored 34.2 percent at levels 4 and 5.
County scores, high schools
Two PARCC assessments, Algebra I and English II will become high school graduation requirements starting next school year.
Algebra I: Overall, 29.7 percent of high school students scored at levels 4 and 5, down from 31.2 in 2015.
English II: Overall high school students scored 42.4 percent at levels 4 and 5, up from 31.9 percent in 2015.
According to MSDE, PARCC results cannot be compared with the Maryland School Assessment (MSA), which the state used for a decade, both because this is a new test and a different test. PARCC is the first assessment aligned to Maryland's College and Career Ready Standards, which set a higher bar for student learning. The tests go beyond the old "fill in the blank" model of standardized tests by emphasizing the need for students to demonstrate critical thinking, problem solving and clear writing.
CCPS students improved greatly on the MSA during the decade it was used as the measure of student achievement. Its lifespan was from 2003-2013 and during that decade, elementary school students increased math scores from 39.9 percent to 81.3 percent; reading scores from 60.6 percent to 84.2 percent; middle school math from 36.8 percent to 76.9 percent; and middle school reading from 61.8 percent to 81.7 percent.
The PARCC assessment scoring uses a five-point score scale set by Maryland educators and others:
• Level 5—Exceeded Expectations
• Level 4—Met Expectations
• Level 3—Approached Expectations
• Level 2—Partially Met Expectations
• Level 1—Did Not Yet Meet Expectations
These tests also will show growth in student achievement over time. For example, parents and teachers will better be able to determine if students taking the math and reading assessments in third grade are progressing in their understanding of the subject matter when they reach fourth grade and beyond.
The pattern of raising standards and creating new assessments has been in place in Maryland since the 1980s.
The school system is mailing individual student reports to parents this week.
For complete CCPS results, visit reportcard.msde.maryland.gov/.