percentage of Maryland students receiving a high school diploma has never been
higher, according to data released last month by the Maryland State Department
of Education. Moreover, as the
graduation rates set new records, the dropout rate has fallen to an all-time
As graduation rates have risen, dropout rates have continued to fall.
four-year cohort graduation rate reached 87.61 percent in 2016 -- nearly 6
points better than the 82 percent rate registered in 2010. The graduation rate jumped .6 percentage
points over 2015, from 86.98 percent.
data is great news for Maryland, as the high school diploma is the important
first step of a successful journey,” said Dr. Karen Salmon, State
Superintendent of Schools. “We continue
to strengthen our standards and our classrooms to better prepare each student
for employment or additional education.”
released was the five-year cohort graduation rate--the percentage of students
who graduate in five years--and that hit 89.11 percent. As graduation rates have improved, the
dropout rate dipped below 8 percent for the first time -- hitting 7.97
student subgroups saw improvement in four-year graduation rates between 2015
and 2016, although gaps in the numbers persist:
- Four-year cohort graduation rates for African
American, American Indian, Asian, and White students all improved. Rates for Hispanic, Hawaiian, and
students of two or more races fell slightly.
- The graduation rate for African American students
has jumped from 76.09 in 2010 to 84.06 percent in 2016.
- The graduation rate for Hispanic students dipped
by .34 percentage points between 2015 and 2016, but has improved by nearly
5 percentage points since 2011, from 71.7 percent to 76.55 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, while the percentage of English language
learners graduating fell slightly.
seven 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.
The new high school and system data
is now available on the updated MdReportCard.org website.
The Maryland State Department of Education’s Every Student
Succeeds Act listening tour made its way to five regions of the State last
month to gather ideas for the State’s plan for the federal Every Student
Succeeds Act (ESSA).
Citizens asked questions and provided their ideas on ESSA during last month’s listening tour.
Nearly 500 Maryland citizens, including a large number
educators and parents, provided thoughts on ESSA. The tour made stops in
Washington, Dorchester, Prince George’s and Calvert Counties, along with
ESSA is the latest version of the federal Elementary and
Secondary Education Act, replacing No Child Left Behind. State ESSA plans must include accountability,
educator support, and school improvement proposals.
Maryland has been developing its plan with broad stakeholder
input for more than a year. The State
Board, as well as an external stakeholder group, has met regularly on ESSA.
More on ESSA is available on our ESSA website, http://marylandpublicschools.org/about/Pages/DAPI/ESSA/index.aspx
State Superintendent of Schools
Dr. Karen B. Salmon
Congratulations to Maryland Teacher
of the Year Athanasia Kyriakakos, named last month as one of four finalists for
the nation’s top teaching honor: National Teacher of the Year.
Sia--as she’s known to her
colleagues--is an art teacher at
Baltimore City’s Mergenthaler Vocational Technical High School She was
named the 2016-2017 Maryland Teacher of the Year last October. She will compete for the national honor along
with teachers from California, Massachusetts and Wisconsin.
Over the past several months, I’ve
heard wonderful things about Sia, her instructional style, and her commitment
to students. One of her former students
wrote that Sia opened her eyes and gave her hope in the future. Can there be a better description of great
The four finalists for Teacher of
the Year will be interviewed by a select panel in March. Announcement of the National Teacher of the
Year will come in May in a White House ceremony attended by all State Teachers
of the Year.
excited to offer students at one of Maryland’s Juvenile Services facilities
the opportunity to take community college classes.
students at the Victor Cullen Center in Sabiliasville are taking online courses
offered by Frederick Community College, under a joint announcement made last
month. Two students have already started their coursework, with more soon to
providing new academic opportunities, we keep students engaged in learning and
focused on the future. The new program at Victor Cullen is designed as a launch
pad for these students.
Frederick Community College signed a memorandum of understanding last fall,
setting the stage for last month’s announcement. Only students who have completed their high
school requirements and proven their ability to do college-level work are
* * *
Maryland will honor ten schools this
month with the Excellence in Gifted and Talented Education (EGATE) School
award, which recognizes top elementary,
middle, and high school programs.
Now in its seventh year, the EGATE
awards spotlight gifted and talented programs aligned with the Maryland Criteria
for Excellence: Gifted and Talented Program Guidelines and state regulations
for gifted and talented education. Each
EGATE school submits a comprehensive application which provides documentation
of 21 criteria of excellence under four program objectives: student
identification, curriculum and instruction, professional development, and
program management and evaluation.
The 2016 EGATE schools are:
Elementary School, Anne Arundel County Public Schools
Orchard Elementary School, Anne Arundel County Public Schools
(also a 2011
Park Elementary School, Anne Arundel County Public Schools
Elementary School, Baltimore City Public Schools
Royal Elementary/Middle School, Baltimore City Public Schools
Jefferson Elementary/Middle School, Baltimore City Public Schools
James Craik Elementary School, Charles County Public Schools (also a 2011
B. Wade Elementary School, Charles County Public Schools (also a 2011
Chase Elementary School, Montgomery County Public Schools
Elementary School, Prince George’s County Public Schools
ESSA Listening Tour Washington County
Schools Superintendent Karen Salmon and State Board President Andrew Smarick kick off a 'Listening Tour' in Washington County, as they prepare Maryland's plan for ESSA ('Every Student Succeeds Act').
16 - MSDE ESSA External Committee
16 - EGATE Awards - North County High School, Glen Burnie
28 - Maryland State Board of Education Meeting, Baltimore
Record Graduation Rates Fueling Pride in Prince George’s
High School Graduation Rates Set New Record
Detention Center Students Taking Online Courses at Frederick Community College