Maryland Report Cards: What Should a Parent Know?

by Lori Morrow

On December 3rd, the Maryland State Department of Education released the 2019 Maryland Report Card ratings for all of the public schools in the state.  The Maryland Report Card is the accountability system that aligns with the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

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Here are a few highlights and links to help you understand the ratings and use this information to improve your school:

  1. 2019 is the second year that the Maryland Report Card ratings have been published, however there are additional items added this year, including performance on science tests; school improvement since 2018; and the school survey by students and educators. https://reportcard.msde.maryland.gov/HelpGuides/ReportCard_New_2019_v4a.pdf
  1. Maryland Report Card scores are available for each school at https://reportcard.msde.maryland.gov. In addition, there is an overall Report Card for each county although there is no star rating assigned at the county level.
  1. Each school receives a percent of the total points earned; a percentile ranking compared to other schools; and an overall star rating based on the point percentage. The Report Card breaks down the score by individual lines so that stakeholders can see how various factors impacted the overall score. The MSDE Guide to Understanding Your 2019 Maryland School Report Card goes into greater detail on how to interpret scores at each school level: https://reportcard.msde.maryland.gov/HelpGuides/MSDE_ReportCard_UserGuide_2019_v5.pdf
  1. The Maryland School Survey is worth 15 points of the 35-point School Quality and Student Success indicator. It is administered to all students in grades 5-11 and all educators. https://reportcard.msde.maryland.gov/HelpGuides/ReportCard_School_Survey_2019_v4.pdf
  1. Maryland Comprehensive Assessment Program (MCAP) scores are incorporated into the Report Card in the Academic Achievement and Academic Progress components. Spring 2019 was the last year that Maryland administered the PARCC test for Math and English Language Arts (ELA), and the state is currently in the process of developing new tests that will take less time than the previous PARCC tests. View the October 2019 MCAP Update here: http://www.marylandpublicschools.org/stateboard/Documents/10222019/TabF-MdComprehensiveAssessmentProgram.pdf
  1. Want to hear more directly from MSDE? The slides and video of the presentation at the State Board of Education are available online. This portion of the meeting starts around the 42-minute mark. http://www.marylandpublicschools.org/stateboard/Pages/meeting-agendas/2019/2019-12-03.aspx

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PARCC Results Released for Prince George’s County

According to a PGCPS news release, the school system has received the PARCC results for the English 10, Algebra 1, and Algebra 2 tests. The new PARCC tests were administered for the first time in the spring of this year. Scores for elementary and middle school tests will be released in early December. (Update: Click here to read our story on the PARCC results for grades 3 through 8.)

Tests are scored with on a five-point grading scale, with a score of 4 indicating that expectations were met and 5 indicating that the student exceeded expectations. On the whole, Prince George’s County’s results were poor compared with the statewide results, but some PGCPS subgroups fared better than their peers: For example, 13.4% of African American students in Prince George’s County scored at a Level 4 or 5, compared with 12.8% of African American students statewide.

On the English 10 test, 28.9% of PGCPS students scored a 4 or 5, compared with 39.7% in the state of Maryland. On the Algebra 1 test, 15.1% of county students scored a 4 or 5, compared with 31.2% of students statewide. In Algebra 2, 8.3% scored a 4 or 5, compared with 23.2% of students in the state.

Read the full news release here.

To find a detailed breakdown of scores, including scores by racial/ethnic subgroup and other groups (e.g. FARMs qualifying, English language learners), go to the Maryland Report Card. Find scores for each school system in Maryland by selecting the county or city under the “County” pulldown menu.

Below is a roundup of what major news outlets have to say about the results:

  • The Washington Post reports that less than half of the Montgomery County students who took the Algebra and English tests and less than a third of those in Prince George’s County students are considered on track for college and careers, according to the PARCC test results. But deputy superintendent Shawn Joseph pointed out that Prince George’s County scores look better when broken down by racial subgroup: white students in the county outperformed their peers across the state on all three exams, and African American students beat state averages on two of the three exams.