released last week for Maryland’s new high school assessments set a new
baseline that will help to determine if students are on track to graduate ready
for college or careers. The data were presented to the Maryland State Board of
40 percent of high school students taking the PARCC English 10 assessment last
spring scored at a Level 4 and 5 combined – the two highest levels on the PARCC
five-point score scale. More than 30 percent of high school students attained
Level 4 and 5 combined in algebra I. For
high school, achieving Level 4 or 5 indicates readiness for college and is
intended to help
students avoid the need to take additional coursework before taking
credit-bearing courses beyond high school. The scores required to meet these thresholds
were determined over the summer by Maryland educators and their peers around
system and school results will be released online this week.
initial PARCC results represent a new starting line for Maryland students,
teachers, and families as we strive to better prepare our students to get on
track for success after graduation,” said Interim State Superintendent of
Schools Jack R. Smith. “But it is
important to recognize that this data is only a snapshot; it’s one additional
measure to use when viewing the progress of our students, along with many other
factors. This is a challenging
assessment, and the data reflects that.”
released last week was the statewide data for Maryland’s first-ever algebra II
test. More than 20 percent of students
scored at a Level 4 and 5, combined, on that test.
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.
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 assessment uses a five-point
score scale set by Maryland educators and others:
5 - Exceeded Expectations
4 - Met Expectations
3 - Approached Expectations
2 - Partially Met Expectations
1 - Did Not Yet Meet Expectations
The MSA results were based on the
previous academic standards, which have not been in use since 2013-14, or
earlier. The MSA had just three performance levels and were set at a less rigorous
target. The result: most students were
considered proficient in the subject matter when Maryland adopted the plan for
higher standards and more advanced assessment in 2010. This pattern of raising standards and
creating new assessments has been in place in Maryland since the 1980s.
has a history of strengthening standards on a regular basis,” Dr. Smith
said. “As the rigor has been raised with
each target, our students and teachers have worked to make the grade. The results have served students -- and our
State -- very well, as students perform better over time.”
Future PARCC test results will be
available sooner as more students are assessed online. More than 82 percent of students took online
assessments during the first administration.
Paper-pencil assessments are available as needed in the first three
Complete data will be available on
November 5 at MdReportCard.org.
Ryan Kaiser, a sixth and eighth grade social studies teacher
at The Mount Washington School in Baltimore City, last month was named the
2015-16 Maryland Teacher of the Year.
Interim State Superintendent of Schools Jack R. Smith made
the announcement during a 25th Anniversary Teacher of the Year Gala
in a ballroom filled with educators and dignitaries. Among those in attendance were U.S.
Representatives Donna Edwards, Steny Hoyer, John Sarbanes, and Chris Van
Hollen; Comptroller Peter Franchot; and Keiffer Mitchell, special advisor to
Governor Larry Hogan.
Kaiser said that by connecting students to the
subject matter, deeper understanding emerges.
“I believe that it is my task as an educator to develop experiences that
will allow students to see the world that surrounds them through a critical
lens,” he said. “Even though my title is
‘social studies’ teacher, I believe that my job -- and the job of every teacher
-- is to help students make the connections that already exist between our
various content areas.”
Governor Larry Hogan and Lt. Governor Boyd
Rutherford congratulated Maryland’s newest Teacher of the Year.
“The success of our schools is built on the
work of our teachers, and the efforts of Ryan Kaiser provide a shining example
of what teachers can do to strengthen student learning and ensure their future
success,” said Governor Hogan. “I
congratulate Ryan, and celebrate his achievements along with those of all our
Lt. Governor Rutherford said that Ryan’s
importance goes beyond his the walls of The Mount Washington School. “Ryan is involved in education throughout
Baltimore City, working on projects with social studies colleagues in other
schools, and coordinating a program with the Patterson Park Public Charter
School,” said Lt. Governor Rutherford.
“His approach to teaching and learning benefits hundreds of students.”
Dr. Smith said the new Maryland Teacher of the Year has
special talents. “Ryan is a classroom
teacher, first and foremost, and his work with his students crackles with
energy and creativity,” he said. “He has
always kept his eyes on preparing his students for the rigors of high school
An education graduate from the University of Nebraska,
Kaiser also received a master’s in elementary administration from the
university. He has been a teacher for 16
years, the last 10 in Baltimore. Kaiser
serves at the school’s coach for the Baltimore Urban Debate League, is a mentor
teacher, and is a member of The Mount Washington School Parent Teacher
Outside the classroom, Kaiser serves as the communications
coordinator for the Maryland Council of Social Studies and writes curriculum
and lesson plans for teachers nationwide for the White House Visitor’s Center.
Kaiser comes from a family of teachers; his grandmother
taught elementary school and both of his parents were teachers and educational
administrators. He fell in love with
history as a child, and said it was “almost a given” that he’d become a teacher
and provide his students with the type of experiential learning that makes a
“As a teacher, I am guided by the Chinese proverb, ‘I forget
what I hear, I remember what I see, I understand what I do,’” he said. “The more I learn about teaching, the more I
know this proverb to be true. We have to
create these essential learning opportunities for students everywhere.”
Selecting Kaiser for the award was not easy for the
judges. The other outstanding finalists
were: Dr. Stephanie Marchbank, Allegany County; Jennie Merrill, Anne
Arundel County; Amanda Porter, Frederick County, Stephanie Geddie, Howard
County; Barbara Sutherland, Queen Anne’s County; and Sally
Irwin, Washington County.
The Maryland Teacher of the Year goes on to compete for the
esteemed National Teacher of the Year Award, to be announced next April.
Maryland has had a history of national success with its Teacher of the Year
Program. Three Maryland teachers have received the National Teacher of the Year
award since 2006.
Presenting sponsors of the Maryland Teacher of the Year
Program are Comcast, the Maryland Automobile Dealers Association, McDonald’s
Family of Maryland, and Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems. Platinum sponsors
are BGE, Lockheed Martin, Maryland Public Television, NTA Life and
Whiting-Turner Contracting Company.
Interim State Superintendent of Schools
Jack R. Smith
One of the
most effective ways to improve learning is to make certain all Maryland
students Maryland have access to great teachers and principals. That is the goal of our statewide Teacher and
Principal Evaluation (TPE) program, which is beginning to produce data that local
school systems may be able to put to good use.
second full report, based on data from last school year, 97.4 percent of teachers were
rated either “highly effective” or “effective” in the State’s three-tiered
rating system, a slight increase over 2013-14.
Likewise, 97.8 percent of principals were rated either “effective” or
overall ratings for educators remain high, differences in the percentage of
effective educators are emerging between schools and school systems.
unveiled last week before the Maryland State Board of Education, is based on
the 2014-15 school year. It found that
44.55 percent of teachers were rated “highly effective,” the top tier of the
three part rating system. Likewise, 47.1
percent of principals were rated “highly effective,” under the evaluation
school systems have spent the past five years developing TPE programs. Every Maryland school has begun to
see the benefits from the professional development and collaboration used to
develop Student Learning Objectives (SLOs) to guide instruction. Systems are currently in the third year of implementing new evaluation systems,
and MSDE will continue to monitor progress in that implementation.
data release marks the second annual statewide effort to evaluate teacher and
principal effectiveness based in part on student growth. Each
school district could develop its own evaluation system within State parameters,
or could use a State-developed system.
In the end, each district constructed an evaluation model based on its
own interests, and each local superintendent and head of the local bargaining
unit signed off on the design.
All 24 of
Maryland’s school systems are now participating in the Statewide Teacher and
Principal Evaluation Program. "Read our full report," Analysis of 2014-15 Teacher and Principal Effectiveness Ratings.
* * *
Maryland First Lady Yumi Hogan last
month put a welcome spotlight on student art.
The First Lady honored some
of our State’s top student artists during a special reception in
Annapolis. The students are among those
whose art is currently being displayed in a special exhibition in the House of
Delegates Gallery Space.
Place award winners are:
Elementary School - Jasmine Diaz, a second grade student at Vansville
Elementary School in Prince George’s County.
Middle School - Mackenzie Clark, a sixth grade student from Kent
County Middle School in Kent County.
High School - Taylor Williams, a senior at Huntington High School
in Calvert County.
student artists are among those from more than 20 school systems whose art is
part of the First Lady’s Inaugural Student Art Exhibition. The First Lady, an
adjunct professor at Maryland Institute College of Art and an accomplished
artist, has been an active supporter of the arts community and advocate for
arts programs in schools across Maryland.
exhibition is supported by the Maryland State Department of Education’s Fine
Arts Office and the Maryland State Arts Council.
Patterson Park Public Charter School
Patterson Park Public Charter School celebrates it's 10th year of
operation. The school was among the first to open under Maryland's
November 16-20 - American Education Week
December 8 - Maryland State Board of Education Meeting
Editorial: PARCC Results Yield Sobering Truth
First Lady Honors Top Art Students
Committee Selected to Review Testing
Norm Augustine: Schools Must Push STEM Harder
Baltimore Business Journal