The Maryland State Board
of Education has proposed a phased-in approach to setting the assessment scores
needed for a high school diploma.
Under new regulations
approved last week for publishing, students taking the Partnership for
Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) exams in English 10 and
Algebra I for the first time next year will need a score of 725 in each of
those subjects -- or a combined score in those two subjects of 1450.
The scores necessary to
meet the graduation requirement in those two subjects would rise slightly each
year through the 2019-2020 school year:
733 in 2017-18 (combined score of 1466)
741 in 2018-19 (combined score of 1482)
- 750 in 2019-20 (combined score of 1500)
For any student who must
take a re-test of the assessments in English 10 and/or Algebra I, the passing
score on the re-test for that student shall be the passing score in the year
that the student first took the assessment.
Students who are unable
to meet the graduation requirement through examination will continue to have
the opportunity to meet it through the Bridge Plan for Academic Validation,
Maryland’s long-standing project-based assessment. In addition, if a student
has not achieved a passing score on the English 10 and Algebra I tests,
students may meet the requirement by achieving certain scores on the
appropriate SAT, ACT and IB tests, or on the PARCC Algebra II or English 11
The State Board’s new
plan will be published as proposed regulations in the Maryland Register in the
coming weeks, and will go through a 30-day comment period. The regulations will come back to the State
Board for final action this summer.
While this is the second
year the PARCC exams in mathematics and English are being administered,
students taking Algebra I and English 10 this school year need only to take the
exams as part of their graduation requirement. Passing the courses, as well as
the High School Assessments in biology and government, also are graduation
requirements for those students.
Maryland instituted the
High School Assessment requirement beginning with the class of 2009, following
several years of study. Scores on the
assessments rose dramatically after the State Board made passing the
assessments a requirement for graduation.
new Kindergarten Readiness Assessment (KRA) finds that nearly half of
Maryland’s incoming students in the fall of 2015 were fully ready for learning.
The data, released last week, confirm last year’s results, when the entering
kindergarteners were assessed using the new assessment for the first time.
report, Readiness Matters!, found that
45 percent of incoming students were fully prepared to begin kindergarten. Another 37 percent were “approaching” readiness,
while 18 percent were “emerging.” The
results also uncovered gaps in readiness between certain student groups. The
report also includes insights into readiness and children’s experience with
various forms of pre-K experience. The
results nearly mirrors the outcomes from last year when 47 percent were fully
results also spotlight gaps in readiness.
More than half of White and Asian-American children are entering
kindergarten ready to learn -- 56 and 52 percent, respectively.
But only 41 percent of African-American
students are fully prepared for kindergarten and just 27 percent of Hispanic
students are kindergarten-ready. The
data revealed that students from low-income households, those for whom English
is a second language, and students with disabilities have special challenges.
measures the skills and behaviors that children should have learned prior to
entering kindergarten. It combines age-appropriate, standardized performance
tasks that measure students’ specific skills, along with focused observations
of children’s work and social interactions, to best understand what each
entering kindergartner knows and is able to do in four key areas: social
foundations; physical well-being and motor development; language and literacy;
assessment replaced the Maryland Model for School Readiness (MMSR) assessment,
in use from 2001 to 2013. The new assessment is needed to put young students on
a path toward meeting Maryland’s more rigorous Pre-K through 12th
grade College and Career Ready Standards. The KRA sets a new baseline for
tracking student progress in future years, aligned to the higher standards; the
results are not directly comparable to the MMSR, which found in 2013 that 83
percent of kindergartners entering school in 2013 were “fully ready” for the
also reveals gaps among low-, middle- and
upper-income households. Just 33 percent
of children who are eligible for free or reduced meals--the federal proxy for
low-income--enter kindergarten fully prepared, while 55 percent of children
from middle- and upper income families are ready for kindergarten.
data also provide information on kindergarten readiness based on pre-K
nursery schools and childcare centers both top 50 percent in readiness.
- Nearly 44
percent of public pre-K programs demonstrated readiness.
- 37 percent of
children from family child care demonstrated readiness.
- 33 percent of
children from Head Start demonstrated readiness.
- 29 percent of
children who stay at home or are in informal care were found to be fully
can use student KRA data to adjust instruction and improve learning. Early childhood programs and school leaders
can use the information to address achievement gaps and respond to the learning
needs of students. The
data also can be used to inform professional development, curricular changes,
and future investments in learning. At
the same time, families can use the data to help support student learning at
had worked with local educators to develop the KRA, and has since engaged
educators, including kindergarten teachers, to strengthen the assessment
instrument and the administration process.
For example, this year’s version of the KRA was 20 percent shorter
compared to last year, with some of the more time-intensive items removed. An
enhanced reporting feature was put in place for teachers to access on-time
reports of their students’ skill levels.
also has worked on systems to improve access to technology and Wi-Fi for teachers
working with the KRA. Additional professional development was provided for
teachers. Based on a teacher survey,
conducted after the conclusion of the assessment, 63 percent rated the overall
experience using the KRA as either good or excellent, 80 percent thought that
the skills and behaviors were appropriate for kindergarten, and 90 percent
thought the test materials were easy to use. They also reported on the time it
took to complete the assessment, which – on average – took less time (40
minutes per student) than last year (50 minutes per student).
2015-2016 Kindergarten Readiness Assessment Report is available at this link.
Interim State Superintendent of Schools
Jack R. Smith
to Maryland’s latest National Green Ribbon honorees: Sligo Middle School (Montgomery County Public
Schools) and Broadneck High School (Anne Arundel County Public Schools) each
received a Green Ribbon, and the Anne Arundel County Public School System
received the district award.
applications for the award were evaluated by a committee comprised of staff
from State and national government agencies, State and regional environmental
organizations, and private businesses. All of our nominees received the Green Ribbon.
schools have been at the leading edge in their commitment to environmental
education and to practices that will sustain our world for future generations. These schools represent the important work
taking place throughout our State.
federal Green Ribbon program recognizes schools that save energy, reduce costs,
feature environmentally sustainable learning spaces, protect health, foster
wellness, and offer environmental education to boost academic achievement and
community engagement. The recognition award is part of a larger U.S. Department
of Education effort to identify and disseminate knowledge about practices
proven to result in improved student engagement, academic achievement,
graduation rates, and workforce preparedness, as well as a government-wide aim
to increase energy independence and economic security.
* * *
It was exciting to join UMBC
President Freeman Hrabowski and more than 200 educators and industry leaders at
last month’s Maryland Computing Education Summit. It was the largest gathering of its kind in
the State and proves the interest in expanding technology education throughout
NASA, Code.org, CS Matters in
Maryland, the University of Maryland-College Park, Project Lead the Way, and
educators from each one of Maryland’s 24 school systems were represented at
UMBC. The foundation has been set for
further expansion of computer science -- not just at the high school level, but
throughout Maryland schools.
Teachers of Promise, 2016
Teachers of Promise (graduates of Maryland's public and private universities) gather to be paired with experienced mentors. They get advice and glean tips at the Teachers of Promise Institute, April 15, 2016 at Martin's West.
2016 Financial Education & Capability Awards
Maryland recognizes teachers and educators for their work in Financial Education. MSDE TV takes you inside the classroom of two of the winners, and to Annapolis for the ceremonies on March 28, 2016.
24 - Maryland State Board of Education Meeting, Baltimore
16-17 - MSDE Maryland Education Data Summit, Ellicott City
Panel Begins Study of How Maryland Builds Schools
Maryland Chosen as Model State for Improving Well-Being of Children, Families
Maryland to Create P-TECH Schools
Governor Signs Bill Recognizing Bi-literate HS Grads