The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) released local school system and school-level data today for PARCC, Maryland’s new middle and elementary school assessments in English Language Arts/Literacy and mathematics.
More than 30 percent of Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) elementary students in grades 3-5 of the PARCC English Language Arts/Literacy assessment last spring scored at a level of 4 and 5 combined. Levels 4 and 5 are the highest levels on the PARCC five-point scale. Additionally, more than 30 percent of Charles County’s middle students reached Level 4 and 5 combined in English Language Arts/Literacy.
More than 30 percent of middle school students taking the mathematics or Algebra I PARCC assessment, and 28.9 percent of students in grades 3-5 scored at Level 4 and 5 combined.
According to MSDE, for students in grades 3 through 8, achieving Level 4 or 5 indicates their readiness for coursework in English and math at the next grade, with the goal of preparing students to enter college or career upon graduation. The scores required to meet these thresholds were determined over the summer by Maryland educators and their peers around the country.
The assessment uses a five-point score scale set by Maryland educators and others:
- Level 5 – Exceeded Expectations
- Level 4 – Met Expectations
- Level 3 – Approached Expectations
- Level 2 – Partially Met Expectations
- Level 1 – Did Not Yet Meet Expectations
CCPS students improved greatly on the Maryland School Assessment (MSA) during the decade it was used as the measure of student achievement. Its lifespan was from 2003-2013 and during that decade, elementary school students increased math scores from 39.9 percent to 81.3 percent; reading scores from 60.6 percent to 84.2 percent; middle school math from 36.8 percent to 76.9 percent; and middle school reading from 61.8 percent to 81.7 percent.
County scores, middle school
Algebra 1/mathematics: Overall, 32.9 percent of middle school students scored a combined score of 4 and 5 on the mathematics and Algebra I assessments. Students taking the Algebra I test for math scored a 72.3 percent at level 4 and 5. Students in eighth grade taking the mathematics assessment scored 8.3 percent at levels 4 and 5; students in seventh grade scored 22.9 percent at levels 4 and 5; and students in sixth grade scored 27.9 percent at levels 4 and 5.
English/Language Arts: Overall, 30.1 percent of middle school students scored at level 4 and 5 combined. Countywide, students in eighth grade scored 32.4 percent at levels 4 and 5; students in seventh grade scored 27.6 percent at levels 4 and 5; and students in sixth grade scored 30.4 percent at levels 4 and 5.
County scores, elementary school
Mathematics: Overall, students in grades 3-5 scored 28.9 percent at levels 4 and 5. Fifth-grade students scored 25 percent at levels 4 and 5; fourth-grade students scored 26.3 percent at levels 4 and 5; and third-grade students scored 35.5 percent at levels 4 and 5.
English/Language Arts: Overall, students in grades 3-5 scored 33.9 percent at levels 4 and 5. Fifth-grade students scored 35 percent at levels 4 and 5; fourth-grade students scored 33.9 percent at levels 4 and 5; and third-grade students scored 32.7 percent at levels 4 and 5.
According to MSDE, PARCC results cannot be compared with the 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 pattern of raising standards and creating new assessments has been in place in Maryland since the 1980s.
Individual elementary and middle school student reports will be sent home to parents within the next few weeks.
For complete CCPS results, visit http://reportcard.msde.maryland.gov/.
Charles County Public Schools provides 26,300 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 36 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.
The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Dr. Patricia Vaira, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Pamela K. Murphy, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 coordinator (employees/ adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646; 301-932-6610/301-870-3814. For special accommodations call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.