Maryland student scores improved at both the fourth and
eighth grade level on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)
science exams for 2016.
Data released last week also found State students outpacing
the national averages at the eighth grade level, and on par with national
averages at the fourth grade level.
“Maryland continues to put a focus on STEM education, and
these results indicate our efforts are gaining real traction,” said Dr. Karen
Salmon, State Superintendent of Schools.
“With stronger, nationally developed science standards being implemented
throughout our State, I look for this positive trend to continue.”
NAEP, also known as the Nation’s Report Card, added science
to its battery of voluntary tests several years ago. The 2015 test was the third administration of
the eighth grade test that a sample of Maryland students have been involved in,
and the second time a sample Maryland fourth graders have been assessed. NAEP also offers a 12th grade
science test, but Maryland schools have not participated in that
NAEP is a congressionally authorized project sponsored by
the U.S. Department of Education through the National Center for Education
The grade level results are as follows:
Grade 4 Science – Maryland scores
improved from 150 in 2009 to 153 in 2015.
The national average also is 153.
Asian students had an average score of 175; African-American
students, 133; Hispanic students, 145; and White students, 167. Male students averaged 154, compared to
151 for female students, a difference not considered statistically
Grade 8 Science – Maryland scores
improved from 149 in 2009 and 152 in 2011 to 155 in 2015, above the
national average of 153. Asian
students had an average score of 179; African-American students, 135;
Hispanic students, 145; and White students, 168. Male and female students both averaged
Maryland wants to make certain a higher
percentage of the State’s working population has the benefit of postsecondary
education. MSDE and the Maryland Higher
Education Commission--in partnership with the American Council on Education--last
month sponsored the Maryland College Application Campaign (MCAC).
MCAC’s goal is to increase the number of
students who are applying to college early in their senior year, particularly
those from families that have never attended college or may be from low
socio-economic circumstances. Maryland is implementing a comprehensive and
supportive process that culminates in students’ acceptance into a postsecondary
institution. Dozens of high schools in
18 Maryland school systems took part in MCAC.
State Superintendent Salmon visited Mardela Middle and High School in Wicomico County to help promote the Maryland College Admissions Campaign.
“The Maryland College Application Campaign
recognizes that education beyond high school is critical for both our high
school graduates and Maryland employers,” said Dr. Karen Salmon, State
Superintendent of Schools. “For many
careers, an Associate’s Degree is an entry level credential. It is essential
that more students take advantage of that golden opportunity.”
During MCAC, students received special
assistance when applying to any of Maryland’s community colleges, independent
colleges, private career schools, and public universities. The initiative included working with staff
from the Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs
(Gear-Up) program and school counselors to prepare students for the rigorous
college application process. It also
establishes a formal partnership with College Goal Maryland to assist with
completing financial aid applications.
College Goal Maryland staff and volunteers
will continue to help students through March, providing guided assistance in
completing Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application. In addition, professionals working with
College Goal Maryland will assist parents/guardians and students in
understanding financial aid resources, the financial aid application process,
and how to access information regarding statewide student services and
MCAC is part of American College Application
week, which takes place nationwide. In
2014, Maryland piloted the effort with 21 high schools representing seven local
school systems. By last year, participation had grown to 52 schools in 14
This year’s participation marked a new
record, with 118 schools participating from the following systems: Anne
Arundel, Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Calvert, Caroline, Cecil, Charles,
Dorchester, Garrett, Kent, Montgomery, Prince George’s, Queen Anne’s, Somerset,
St. Mary, Talbot, Washington, and Wicomico.
The MCAC process culminates with
participating high schools holding College Decision Day events in May. Maryland plans to implement this initiative
second annual Maryland STEM Festival begins this week and continues through
November 13. The festival includes
scores of events in every corner of our State.
Maryland STEM Festival provides inspirational, educational, and accessible programming
in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics throughout Maryland. Through 10 days of collaborative,
interactive, and dynamic events and activities throughout the state, the
Festival displays Maryland’s STEM success and further connects the current and
future leaders in STEM.
Festival provides STEM opportunities to all of Maryland without requiring them
to travel significant distances. Have a
look at the festival website: http://marylandstemfestival.org
State Superintendent of Schools
Dr. Karen B. Salmon
has always been an import state for teachers: our colleges and universities
simply do not produce enough new educators to meet the demands of our school
systems. But a new MSDE report finds
that our schools may have an even more difficult time filling their vacancies
in the coming years.
All 24 of
our school systems have projected shortages, according to the 2016-18 Teacher
Staffing Report. Some of the shortage
areas are chronic, such as computer science, physics, and special education. But other shortage areas are new, such as
biology and art.
Board last week declared a host of content areas as areas of critical
shortage. In addition, our schools need
more male teachers and teachers who are members of minority groups.
clear that we need to identify new ways to recruit students into our
profession. We need to further explore
alternative pathways to certification, and we need to work with our high school
students to get them interested in education as a career.
2016 Teacher of the Year Gala
Teachers of the Year from all 24 Maryland school systems gather in Baltimore for the annual Teacher of the year gala. It's a night that honors educators, with the winner named Maryland 2016-17 Teacher of the Year.
4-13 - Maryland STEM Festival.
30 - Maryland Business Roundtable Annual Meeting, Baltimore.
5 - Maryland State Board of Education Meeting, Baltimore
Maryland Student Scores on NAEP Science Rise
Pocomoke Middle Looks to Change Perception of School Lunches
Maryland Looks for Solutions to Teacher Shortage