A higher percentage of
Maryland students are crossing the stage to receive their high school diplomas
than at any other time in the State’s history, according to data released this
month by the Maryland State Department of Education. As the graduation rate sets new records, the
dropout rate has reached an all-time low.
“Each student who
graduates from high school is a success story, and those students, families,
and schools should celebrate that success,” said Dr. Jack Smith, Interim State
Superintendent of Schools. “It also is
important to remember that a high school diploma is only the first step. We continue to strengthen our standards to
better prepare each student for life beyond high school--be it further
education, the workforce, or both.”
The four-year cohort
graduation rate reached 87 percent in 2015 -- 5 points better than the 82
percent rate registered in 2010. The
graduation rate jumped 0.6 percentage points over 2014, from 86.4 percent.
Most student subgroups
saw improvement in graduation rates between 2014 and 2015, although gaps in the
• Four-year cohort graduation rates for African American,
Asian, Native Hawaiian and White students all improved, as did the rate for
students identifying as two or more races.
• The graduation rate for African American students has
jumped from 76.09 in 2010 to 82.3 percent in 2015.
• The graduation rate for Hispanic students dipped by 0.6
percentage points between 2014 and 2015, but has improved by more than 5
percentage points since 2011, from 71.7 percent to 76.9 percent.
• Among students receiving special services, the four-year
cohort graduation rate rose in two of three categories. Specifically, both
special education students and students receiving free or reduced price meals
improved. But the percentage of English
language learners graduating fell from 54.1 percent in 2014 to 49.3 percent in
Maryland six years ago
moved to the cohort graduation rate, which follows a set group of students from
freshman year through their senior year.
The four-year cohort graduation rate has improved every year since.
dropout rate has been in steady decline.
The State’s dropout rate, which stood at 11.9 percent in 2010, dropped
to 8.1 percent in 2015.
The new high school and
system data are available on the Maryland Report Card website.
students have led the nation in success on the Advanced Placement (AP) exams
for 10 consecutive years, according to new data from the College Board.
percentage of Maryland seniors who earned a score of 3 or higher on one or more
AP exams broke 30 percent for the second consecutive year -- 31.7 percent in
2015. That represents a slight dip from
31.8 registered in 2014 but a big jump from 2005, when 20.6 percent of Maryland
seniors scored a 3 or higher. That was
the last year Maryland did not lead the nation on AP success.
of 3 or better is the threshold at which many higher education institutions
award college credit tor high school students on an AP assessment.
to Maryland students and educators for continuing to lead the nation in
Advanced Placement assessment achievement,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “AP offers our students a rich and rigorous
program of study, and the success of our students will help fuel further accomplishments
in college and the workplace.”
is followed by Massachusetts with 31.5 percent of seniors receiving a 3 or
higher. Florida, Connecticut, and
California all had more than 30 percent of seniors scoring a 3 or higher. The national average was 22.4, up from 21.6
percent in 2014.
Maryland educators seek to prepare our students for life beyond high school,
the AP program provides students with a strong foundation for the future,” said
Interim State Superintendent of Schools Jack R. Smith. “The latest data from
the College Board provide us with much to celebrate, but also spotlights where
we need to improve. All students should
have the opportunity to succeed in rich educational programs.”
statistics are included in AP cohort data the College Board recently released for
the class of 2015. The data release
replaced “The AP Report to the Nation” in 2014, which the organization had
published for the previous decade.
College Board’s new analysis of the college-level assessment program provides a
variety of information on efforts taking place in Maryland schools. For example:
• More than half of all Maryland high
school graduates take at least one AP exam while in high school, and that tally
has nearly doubled over the past decade.
In 2005, 30.7 percent of Maryland graduates had taken at least one AP
exam during their high school career. By
2015, 51 percent of seniors were taking at least one of the rigorous
exams. Only the District of Columbia
(70.1 percent), Florida (57.7 percent), and Arkansas (51.1) had higher rates of
• The number of Maryland high school
seniors who scored a 3 or better on an AP exam
increased from 11,180 in 2005 to 17,314 in 2015.
• Maryland’s low income students in the
Class of 2015 were underrepresented in the AP program. While 42.8 percent of Maryland seniors were
eligible for free or reduced-price meals they only comprised 20.9 percent of AP
test takers, and 16.5 percent of those who received a grade of 3 or better.
College Board’s Advanced Placement Program, which began in 1955, allows
students to pursue college-level studies while still in high school. Students
of different interests and backgrounds can choose from more than 30 courses to
demonstrate their knowledge of rigorous academic curriculum. Visit AP for Students for more information on the program.
Interim State Superintendent of Schools
Jack R. Smith
One of the
great pleasures of my job is the ability to salute some of Maryland’s
outstanding educators. I had the chance
to do that last week, visiting Oxon Hill Middle School in Prince George’s
County, when science teacher Angela Malone became Maryland’s latest Milken
received a $25,000 check in front of a gymnasium full of students screaming
their approval. She is one of 40 educators who
will receive the prestigious national honor during the Milken Family
Foundation’s (MFF) coast-to-coast tour across the country during the 2015-16
Awards season. MFF has been rewarding outstanding elementary and secondary
educators with the Award since 1987. Malone is the 60th recipient in Maryland
since the program was implemented in our state in 1993.
brings energy, innovation and exceptional standards to her classroom every day,
strengthening student achievement. She
exemplifies what it means to be a Maryland educator, and we are thrilled that
the Milken Family Foundation honored her work and dedication.
* * *
Maryland this week honored six
schools with Excellence in Gifted and Talented Education (EGATE) School Awards,
which recognize top elementary, middle, and high school programs.
Now in their sixth year, the EGATE
awards spotlight gifted and talented programs aligned with Maryland Standards
and regulations for Gifted and Talented Education. Each EGATE nominee submits a comprehensive
application, which provides documentation of 21criteria of excellence under
four program objectives: student identification, curriculum and instruction,
professional development, and program management and evaluation.
The 2015 EGATE schools are:
Calverton Elementary School, Prince
George’s County Public Schools
Fountaindale Elementary School for
the Arts and Academic Excellence,
Public Schools (previously a 2010 awardee)
Hamilton Elementary/Middle School,
Baltimore City Public Schools
Hampstead Hill Academy, Baltimore
City Public Schools
Kenmoor Middle School, Prince
George’s County Public Schools (previously a 2010 awardee)
University Park Elementary School,
Prince George’s County Public Schools
In the six years of the award’s
existence, 39 schools from 10 school systems have earned the EGATE status.
Members from the Maryland Advisory Council for Gifted and Talented Education
and local school system personnel review and score the EGATE applications,
which document the school’s gifted and talented program activities over a 15
March 22 - Maryland State Board of Education Meeting
April 11 - Sine Die (End of General Assembly Session)
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