We believe that we must engage every student, every day; learning is achieved by cultivating curiosity and encouraging determination, focus, and hard work; and adult learning and engagement are key to student learning.
Therefore, we will encourage and support critical thinking, problem solving, active questioning, and risk taking to continuously improve; stimulate discovery by engaging students in relevant and rigorous academic, social, and emotional learning experiences; and challenge ourselves to analyze and reflect upon evidence to improve our practices.
We believe that meaningful collaboration is vital to our success; strong partnerships are built on trust and open and honest communication; and building relationships with our diverse community requires us to understand the perspectives and experiences of others.
Therefore, we will get to know student and staff members as individuals to better serve them; engage in interest-based decision making with our partners to achieve mutually agreed upon goals; and build strong relationships with students, family, staff, and community to support learning.
We believe that each individual's contributions add value to our learning community; fair treatment, honesty, openness, and integrity are essential; and the diversity of our culture, interests, skills, and backgrounds is an asset that makes us stronger.
Therefore, we will model civility in all interactions and encourage candid conversations; deal fairly and honestly with each other; and listen to others' perspectives with openness and accept that there are various points of view.
We believe that raising the bar and setting high standards is necessary to ensure that all students graduate ready for college and career; we have to expect the best to get the best from everyone, every day; and creating intellectual excitement and supporting personal growth inspires us all toward excellence.
Therefore, we will push unceasingly for continuous improvement; hold our practice and our work to the highest possible standards; and nurture a culture of creativity and inquiry that supports innovation and progress.
We believe that each and every student matters; outcomes should not be predictable by race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status; equity demands the elimination of all gaps; and creating and maximizing future opportunities for students and staff is necessary.
Therefore, we will hold high expectations for all students and staff; distribute resources as necessary to provide extra supports and interventions so all students can achieve; identify and eliminate any institutional barriers to students' success; and ensure that equitable practices are used in all classrooms and workplaces.
The District Implementation Plan (DIP), with its five core strategies, guides the work of the district. The plan implements the vision and values laid out in the Strategic Planning Framework—Building Our Future Together: Students, Staff, and Community, which sets clear expectations for all schools about the skills our students need to have to be successful.
The Framework is built on the five core values, adopted by the Montgomery County Board of Education, that define what it means to be a strong public education system: learning, relationships, respect, excellence, and equity. The Framework identifies the three competencies students need for success in the 21st century—academic excellence, creative problem solving, and social emotional learning—and provides specific expectations for what students will know and be able to do in these areas. It also lays out what MCPS staff will do to help students meet those expectations. The Framework also affirms the district's ongoing commitment to operational excellence.
As an organization committed to the Malcolm Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence over the last 20 years, MCPS has increasingly focused on the use of data to improve instruction in the classroom and the operational efficiency of the district. Data monitoring is an essential part of our culture and our work to support students.
While schools and offices use a variety of data metrics to assess progress and make improvements, the Strategic Planning Framework and the DIP examine data at five important milestones in a student's educational journey—Grades 3, 5, 8, 9, and graduation—to assess the overall health of the system. The milestones data, and other important information, for each school is also included as part of each school's improvement plan. The School Support and Improvement Framework (SSIF), is used to provide customized support and services to schools to improve teaching, learning, and outcomes.
A high school diploma is no longer enough. By the year 2020, almost two-thirds of jobs, and nearly all high-paying jobs, will require postsecondary education or training.
While most school systems are working toward the goal of ensuring that students are "college- and career-ready", the definition of what that means is not always clear or consistent. Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) is very clear that the expectations for postsecondary education and career readiness are the same. What may be different is the avenue a student takes to fulfill his or her graduation requirements and the pathway taken after graduation.
The MCPS vision for 21st century college or career readiness is to increase the number of options a student has upon graduation. In alignment with our strategic plan, and Core Strategy I, Academic Rigor and Culturally Proficient Instruction, MCPS is developing a Career Readiness Improvement Plan to ensure that all students are identifying their interests, establishing personal goals, and exploring postsecondary opportunities including career options. Additionally, the plan is designed to support more students who are exploring Career and Technology Education (CTE) options to achieve completer status and earn certification or licensure qualifying them for immediate job opportunities.
Meet Paul and Luis—two students who focused their future goals by participating in MCPS career pathway programs.
Experience Thomas Edison High School through photos.
In our country, there are structural and systemic barriers that have prevented some of our students from full participation in an instructional program that meets their needs and pushes them to excel. These barriers lead to disparities in educational outcomes for African American, Latino, and economically disadvantaged students.
MCPS is committed to addressing these disparities and breaking down these barriers to enable every student to achieve.
Through the Strategic Priorities, taken from the District Implementation Plan, MCPS is placing a renewed focus on the foundational elements of literacy and math to make progress toward closing the achievement gap. This focus is incorporated into all facets of our work. Utilizing yearly improvement plans, schools are setting meaningful targets to increase student performance in these core areas and developing tailored strategies to meet them, including reevaluating curriculum, assessments, and instructional practices. MCPS is also investing in professional learning and cultural proficiency trainings for employees so that culture can serve as a bridge to success rather than a barrier.
Literacy is considered the gateway to knowledge and essential to becoming college or career ready. Our plan to remedy the disparities in literacy includes instruction for our English language learners and also addresses instructional programs and practices for and address the needs of special education students.
Every student deserves a rigorous mathematics program and to be taught by a teacher who understands mathematics, understands how to teach mathematics, and understands how to differentiate to meet each child's individual needs.
To close the gap, we have to change how we provide accelerated mathematics instruction and provide more opportunities for students to be accelerated.
Students from several high schools across the district have been working together to find ways to reduce the achievement gap in MCPS. These students are a part of the Minority Scholars Leadership Program, a student-led group whose mission is to help increase the academic success of minority students and foster positive relationships.
MCPS has high expectations for all of the 156,000+ students in our schools. In order to help them meet and exceed these expectations, we are engaged in a multipronged approach that provides students with access to both a rigorous curriculum and culturally proficient instruction. This approach prepares them to not only succeed in MCPS, but in college and their careers as well.
MCPS has high expectations for all students, which means providing access to a rigorous curriculum and culturally proficient instruction that prepares them for college and careers.
Two districtwide "PARCC Nights" held during the 2014–2015 school year were attended by more than 900 parents. Cosponsored by MCPS, MCCPTA, and the NAACP Parents' Council, the events featured a resource fair, overview session, and breakout sessions on math and literacy across the elementary, middle, and high school curricula. At Montgomery Blair High School, breakout sessions in Spanish, Amharic, Chinese, French, Korean, and Vietnamese were attended by more than 150 parents.
This fall, MCPS revised its assessment strategy, replacing end-of-semester two-hour final exams with marking period assessments. This change will better serve our students by increasing instructional time, using formative assessment data throughout the school year to inform instruction, allowing students to receive timely supports and interventions, and providing students with more frequent and varied measures to demonstrate learning.
Our goal is to confront our persistent and disturbing achievement gaps, and to use our assessments to measure what our students are and are not learning so that teachers can adjust and improve instruction to make sure every student understands and masters the material.
Technology is not only a vital tool to connect students with information; it is also one of the most sought-after career fields. To ensure our students have exposure to and experience with tech, we kicked off a multiyear effort to provide all students with access to mobile computers and a cloud-based learning platform that will enhance creativity and collaboration in the classroom.
Beginning in the fall of 2014, students in Grades 3, 5 and 6, as well as high school social studies classes began using the new technologies. The program will expand to other grades in later years.
As the most diverse school district in Maryland, MCPS is keenly aware that race and culture exert a powerful influence on teaching and learning. To ensure that our teachers have the training to best serve our diverse population, we developed the Equity Initiatives Unit to build capacity of MCPS staff to close the racial achievement gap and eliminate racial predictability in student achievement.
Equity Specialists tailor their work to the needs of the school, as they did at Rosa Parks Middle School, to ensure they meet the needs of that specific school community.
As our district continues to make additional investments to strengthen the foundation for academic success, particularly in mathematics and literacy, our schools are finding unique ways to engage with the entire family in an effort to boost literacy. At Strathmore Elementary School, fun-filled reading nights are helping to build students' literacy skills and foster a love of reading. Held in partnership with the PTA, the events focus on how families can support literacy by reading and playing interactive games at home.
Our commitment to educational equity is evident in how we fund our schools. At MCPS, we implement an intentional strategy that allows us to provide more resources to schools that serve greater numbers of students in need. Through this process we are working to level the playing field so that all of our students have the opportunity to succeed.
Our commitment to educational equity is, and must continue to be, evident in how we fund our schools, including an intentional strategy of providing more resources to schools that serve greater numbers of students in need.
MCPS has long followed a school funding practice that invests additional resources in schools with greater needs. Over the years, these additional investments have provided for more professional development for staff in schools with higher levels of poverty, more teachers to lower class sizes in elementary schools and reduce the teacher-student ratio in secondary schools. In addition, MCPS has provided more Focus teachers in these schools to provide more support to students, particularly in math and literacy.
MCPS created an interactive tool—Budget 101—to explain in greater detail how the MCPS budget works and how it staffs all of its schools. This video explains the MCPS budget in greater detail and the Budget 101 provides more information on the system's approach to staffing schools.
As a kid in school, Allison Wymer was oppositional. Defiant. She often found herself in trouble because she had a habit of correcting the teachers. She was also extremely bright and thirsty for knowledge.
Throughout middle and high school, she struggled. She was bored and unmotivated. She thought she was smarter than the teachers. Her parents knew something was wrong and fought for her, but it didn't seem to matter.
She later discovered she is GT/LD (Gifted & Talented/Learning Disabled). She is dyslexic. She has attention deficit disorder. GT/LD students are highly able with outstanding talents, but also have poor reading, writing or math skills.
Today, she teaches fifth grade GT/LD students at Barnsley Elementary School.
Rock Terrace School provides special education services for students who range in age from 11-21 years, with a wide range of cognitive disabilities. The school provides collaborative and comprehensive educational services. The school helps each child thrive and promotes the advancement of each student's highest potential to access and interact with the surrounding community, access post-secondary academic options, and obtain and retain employment.
As a vibrant community of more than 22,000 employees, we recognize that nothing is more essential to a great education system than great educators. Our success today and in the future requires us to recruit, retain and develop the best employees in public education. Every day, a team of MCPS employees work tirelessly on behalf of our children and support our core purpose: preparing all students to thrive in their future.
At MCPS, we recognize that our success today and in the future requires us to recruit, retain, and develop the best employees in public education.
MCPS is committed to building a workforce that reflects and enhances the diversity of our schools and holds the collective believe that all students can learn at high levels. That is why we launched a new initiative that aims to improve the recruitment, selection, development and retention of diverse teachers.
The Teacher Workforce Diversity Initiative, which is the result of collaboration across the system including the three employee associations, is focused on making rapid and significant changes to increase the diversity of the workforce. Our district is actively recruiting high-quality teachers, including teachers of color and others with backgrounds, skills and experiences that are underrepresented in the current workforce, such as those who are multilingual.
We believe that our students need to experience the rich variety of perspectives that comes from having a diverse teaching force. A more diverse workforce will strengthen the outstanding work MCPS does every day to build supportive learning communities and prepare our 156,000 students to succeed and thrive in our increasingly global world.
MCPS has more than 700 educators that have achieved certification by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS)! MCPS leads the state in the number of National Board-certified teachers and is ranked eighth in the top 30 districts for the total number of Board-certified educators.
National Board Certification, a voluntary program established by NBPTS, is achieved through a performance-based assessment that typically takes more than a year to complete. It is designed to measure what accomplished teachers should know and be able to do. The process requires teachers to demonstrate how their activities, both inside and outside the classroom, strengthen student performance and contribute to student achievement.
Educators earn National Board Certification after completing a series of assessments that include teaching portfolios, student work samples, videotapes, and rigorous analyses of their classroom teaching and student learning. Candidates also complete a series of written exercises that probe the depth of their subject-matter knowledge and their understanding of how to teach those subjects to their students.
The Student to Educator Pathway (STEP) program is a new initiative designed to support the overarching vision of increasing the workforce diversity within MCPS by providing early training, mentorship and financial support to MCPS students who are interested in a career in education and desire to teach in MCPS upon college graduation. The STEP program provides support to a cohort of MCPS high school seniors through college, and equips them with the skills and knowledge needed to be experts in the field of education, as well as instructional leaders in MCPS.
In Montgomery County Public Schools, we work in partnership with dozens of community organizations to provide resources, services and opportunities that help us fulfil our mission to prepare all students to thrive in their future. Through close collaboration with partners we are able to offer academic enrichment after school, greater health and social services, exposure to the arts and so much more. In 2015, we continued to expand and deepen our partnership work to meet the needs of our growing, diverse student population.
MCPS is committed to working with its community partners and engaging families in order to support the achievement of its students.
MCPS is committed to a culture of respect and equity that embraces the diversity of our community and ensures that every student has the opportunity to succeed and thrive. Part of that commitment is making sure our students have the right to express their religious beliefs and practices, free from discrimination, bullying, or harassment. That's why MCPS created a new resource for families—the Guidelines for Respecting Religious Diversity. MCPS worked closely with members of the Montgomery County Executive's Faith Community Working Group and other stakeholders to create this guide that puts information about Board of Education policies and MCPS regulations and procedures about this topic into one easy to use resource. The guidelines are available in eight languages.
More than 3,000 third grade students from 27 Title I schools recently attended a free performance of "101 Dalmatians" at Imagination Stage in Bethesda, Maryland. MCPS and Imagination Stage launched a partnership in 2014 to provide thousands of MCPS students with an opportunity to experience the arts. PNC Bank and GEICO are lead sponsors of the partnership.
More than 250 people attended the MCPS Family Market Day on August 22 at Greencastle Elementary School. Families received free, healthy food items, and MCPS staff, county agencies and nonprofit agencies were on hand to answer questions and connect families to important services and programs. At least 30 other market days are expected to be held this year.
Montgomery County Public Schools has been nationally recognized for its outstanding operations and services to students. We provide the highest quality business operations and support services that are essential to the educational success of all students. We engage collaboratively and respectfully with all partners, building a self-renewing learning community that reflects our values. As a district, we remain highly committed to continuous improvement and consistently use data from local, state, and national assessments and other sources to evaluate programs and services; guide school and office improvement efforts; and develop a values-based, needs-driven budget.
Our commitment to operational excellence allows us to safely transport up to 100,000 students to and from school each morning; serve 15 million school meals during the school year; clean and maintain 202 schools; and make sure our teachers have the materials and supplies they need. Over the past 10 years, MCPS has opened more than 100 construction projects , adding much-needed classroom space throughout the district. These projects have been delivered on time and on budget. Many of our paraprofessionals work directly with teachers and staff to deliver instruction and provide vital services to students with disabilities or those who need to learn English. Organizational Effectiveness is the foundation of excellence in MCPS!
As a recipient of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, MCPS has a long-standing commitment to operational excellence and continuous improvement.
Providing students with nutritious food options is an essential to component in our educational efforts at MCPS. Research indicates that students are more focused and perform better after a healthy meal. From gluten-free to vegetarian to kosher and halal options, our schools offer a wide array of foods to accommodate the needs of our diverse student body. More than 800 employees are dedicated to ensuring our students receive nutritious meals and snacks every day.
In 2015, MCPS opened a 77,000 square-foot state-of-the-art central production facility in Gaithersburg. This new facility, which boasts a 7,200 square-foot garden, provides the staff from the Division of Food and Nutrition Services with the space and resources necessary to prepare meals for the students across the county.
MCPS has a comprehensive districtwide program to reduce the environmental footprint of its facilities, including recycling initiatives, energy conservation efforts and a commitment to green construction practices in all building projects. We teach our students the value of protecting our natural resources and being good stewards of the environment.
Northwest High School was selected as a recipient of the 2015 U.S. Green Ribbon Schools Award. The Green Ribbon Schools Award program, established in 2011, is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education and 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.
Four other MCPS schools have received the national Green Ribbon Schools Award since its inception in 2012: Travilah Elementary School in 2014, Cedar Grove and Summit Hall elementary schools in 2013, and Francis Scott Key Middle School in 2012. MCPS also was selected as the recipient of the District Sustainability Award in 2013, which recognizes school systems that demonstrate a comprehensive approach to sustainability.
Lisa Bligen, a special education paraeducator at Argyle Middle School, was named the 2015 Supporting Services Employee of the Year. Bligen was instrumental in helping Argyle improve its school climate with students and staff. She analyzed data, led meetings with the instructional focus team, and worked tirelessly with the administration, SEIU members, teachers and staff to create plans to improve outcomes. As a result, the school has seen its Gallup Staff Engagement data improve markedly in the last three years.
Her commitment to students extends beyond her time in the classroom. For 10 years, she has been a lead instructor and trainer for other staff members at the George B. Thomas Learning Academy. She is a true ambassador for the program, even creating modifications so that all students can access the course. She completed a graduate certificate program in bilingual special education and has also been studying Spanish to be able to reach more of her students and their parents.
We have an exceptional workforce in MCPS that is strongly committed to the highest standards of ethical conduct and professionalism. However, as a district committed to the Malcolm Baldrige principles of performance excellence and continuous improvement, we know that we can always improve our operational processes. The creation of the new Employee Code of Conduct was an effort to make clearer the expectations of employees in how we work together to ensure the safety and well-being of all MCPS students, employees, and the broader community.
The Employee Code of Conduct provides a general overview of the legitimate expectations and standards of conduct that MCPS and the broader community expect employees to follow in carrying out their important part of the district's mission. The Code of Conduct also summarizes the disciplinary procedures that MCPS uses to address situations where employees fall short of system expectations and standards of conduct.
Public education is a priority in Montgomery County and our schools have always been a source of civic pride. This belief is reflected in the investment our citizens have made in our schools over the years—even in difficult economic times. MCPS has always worked to ensure its operations are as efficient as possible to ensure that every dollar entrusted to us is used wisely for the more than 156,000 students we serve.
More than 80 cents of every dollar in the MCPS budget is spent on classroom instruction and another 14 cents is spent on support services for our schools that ensure the needs of our students are met. Our employees are our strength and that is why more than 90 cents of every dollar in the MCPS budget is spent on our outstanding teachers, support staff, and administrators.
Challenging economic times since 2008 have made new investment in education difficult and, as a result, MCPS has cut more than 1,800 positions since 2009. At the same time, MCPS has continued to grow by more than 17,000 students since 2009. The budget has grown slightly each year simply to keep up with this growth and manage the ongoing cost of doing business.
To help the community better understand the MCPS budget and the factors that drive it, MCPS created a new tool called Budget 101 in 2015. This tool shows how schools are staffed and more fully explains how difficult economic times have impacted the budget.
Montgomery County Public Schools is not only the largest school district Maryland, it is also one of the fastest growing school districts in the state and across the nation. MCPS has grown by more than 18,900 students since 2007 and expects to add more than 10,000 new students by 2021. This record pace of growth is creating tremendous demand for additional classroom space even though MCPS has added more than 1,200 new classrooms over the last 10 years. MCPS has added more than 14,000 seats to accommodate enrollment increases but it has not been enough to keep pace with this growth.
The most rapid growth has been at the elementary level for the last several years and these students have started moving into middle school and high school. As a result, many middle and high schools will quickly become overutilized within the next six years. By the 2020–2021 school year, middle school enrollment is projected to increase by approximately 4,800 students and high school enrollment by approximately 5,900 students—enough to fill four middle and three high schools.
The current approved Fiscal Year 2015-2020 Capital Improvements Program totals $1.544 billion and is primarily funded by Montgomery County, with critical support coming from the state as well. In recent years, budget challenges have required much needed projects to be delayed as available funding from the county and the state has not kept pace with demand for school construction.In 2015, the Board of Education adopted a new six-year Capital Improvements Program totaling $1.728 billion in an effort to both catch up with the demands of a growing student enrollment and to keep with the many maintenance needs of the district. A final Capital Improvements Program will be decided in spring 2016.
MCPS and individual schools monitor a variety of student performance data to assess progress and improve outcomes for all children. The five districtwide milestones measure selected data along a student's educational journey to measure the progress of the district. In addition, MCPS monitors a variety of operational data to measure the efficiencies of the district's support operations.
MCPS has used performance targets over the years to assess district performance. The targets were updated in 2015 for the 2015-16 school year.
Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) uses the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) to monitor system performance in reading and mathematics. Computer-based, adaptive tests, data from the MAP assessments has been used for several years to inform instruction and diagnostically determine areas of improvement for students. The 2013-14 school year served as baseline for the district because a new version of MAP aligned to the Common Core State Standards was administered. During the 2015-2016 school year, the district modified targets for MAP to be better aligned with PARCC. Data below represent the percent of students meeting the new target of the 60th national percentile in the content area. Read More
Overall reading performance in 2014-2015 indicates 55.8 percent of Grade 3 students, 61.7 percent of Grade 5 students, and 62.5 percent of Grade 8 students met or exceeded the 60th national percentile. Similar to performance observed last year, differences within ethnic/racial categories as well as students receiving special services existed at each grade level. For Grade 3, the percent of students meeting at least the 60th national percentile spanned from 75.4 percent for Asian students to 32.2 percent for Hispanic/Latino students. Slight decreases were observed for students receiving services compared to last year - ranging from 0.2 point decrease to 5.3 point decrease. More specifically, 30.4 percent of students who received Free and Reduced-price Meal System services (FARMS), 19.4 percent of students who received special education services and 28.0 percent of students identified as limited English proficient met or exceeded the 60th national percentile.
In Grade 5, 61.7 percent of students met or exceeded the 60th national percentile an increase from 2014 (1.4 points). One-year increases were observed for all racial/ethnic groups and students receiving FARMS, special education services, and identified as LEP. A 0.7 point decrease was revealed for Grade 8 students meeting or exceeded the 60th national percentile (from 63.2 percent in 2014 to 62.5 percent in 2015). Increases were observed for Asian students and students identified as two or more races (2.5 point increase, and 0.4 point increase, respectively). Decreases for other groups ranged from a low of 0.4 points for white students to a high of 2.5 points for students identified as LEP.
MAP Mathematics is administered to grade 5 students. In 2014-15, 54.8 percent of all students met or exceeded the 60th national percentile (1.8 point increase compared to 2014). Increases were observed for most racial/ethnic groups, except those identified as two or more races who saw a 3.6 point decrease. Among Grade 5 students, 79.1 percent of Asian students, 35.2 percent of Black or African American students, 30.4 percent of Hispanic/Latino students, 74.6 percent of White students, and 63.8 percent of students identified as Two or More Races successfully met or exceeded the 60th national percentile. Moreover, 28.9 percent of students who received Free and Reduced-price Meal System services, 16.2 percent of students who received special education services, and 26.6 percent of students identified as limited English proficient met or exceeded the 60th national percentile.
Improving participation in algebra during middle school has been a national focus for many years. Research shows that taking algebra in 8th grade opens opportunities to take higher level math in high school. The Algebra 1 milestone is based on the successful completion of the course with a grade of C or higher for all students enrolled in grade 8 by the end of the year. In the 2014-2015 school year, 51.5 percent of grade 8 students successfully completed Algebra 1 with a C or higher (a decrease of 4 percentage points compared to 2014). Read More
From 2013 to 2015, the percent of successful completion of Algebra 1 by the end of Grade 8 at all middle schools decreased by 7.6 percentage points for all students (59.1% to 51.5%, respectively). Further examination of successful completion for the 2014-2015 school year by student reveal 76.0 percent of Asian students, 32.3 percent of Black or African American students, 28.4 percent of Hispanic/Latino students, 69.6 percent of White students, and 63.9 percent of students identified as Two or More Races successfully completed Algebra 1 with a grade of C or higher by the end of Grade 8. Additionally, 24.5 percent of students who received free and reduced priced meals, 11.2 percent of students who received special education services, and 14.0 percent of students identified as limited English proficient successfully completed Algebra 1 with a grade of C or higher by the end of Grade 8.
MCPS graduation requirements include earning four credits of English. The courses in the English curriculum are rigorous in order to prepare students to become college and career ready. This milestone - successful completion of an English course in Grade 9 with a C or higher - is a strong indicator of how well a student will perform throughout high school.
In the 2014-2015 school year, 78.5 percent of Grade 9 students successfully completed a credit-bearing English course with a C or higher. Read More
From 2014 to 2015, the rate for successful completion of an English course by students in Grade 9 increased by 2.3 percentage points for all students (76.2 percent to 78.5 percent). Increases of 4.9 and 4.5 points were seen for both Hispanic/Latino and Black or African American students compared to 2014, respectively. For the 2014-2015 school year, 92.0 percent of Asian students, 69.7 percent of Black or African American students, 90.9 percent of White students, 64.3 percent of Hispanic/Latino students, and 83.8 percent of Grade 9 students identified as Two or More Races successfully completed an English course with a grade of C or higher. Additionally, 61.9 percent of students who received Free and Reduced-price Meal System services, 57.5 percent of students who received special education services, and 61.3 percent of students identified as limited English proficient successfully completed an English course with a grade of C or higher in Grade 9.
In order to be promoted to Grade 10, students in Grade 9 must earn a certain number of credits. Our strategic priorities have focused on the importance of mathematics for MCPS students. It is recognized that skills earned in mathematics prepare students for not only being competitive in a global economy, but also are related to postsecondary education. The Grade 9 Mathematics milestone is based on the successful completion of a mathematics course with a grade of C or higher.
In the 2014-2015 school year, 71.3 percent of Grade 9 students successfully completed a high school mathematics course with a C or higher (a 1.8 point increase compared to 2014). Read More
For the 2014-2015 school year, 88.5 percent of Asian students, 59.8 percent of Black or African American students, 86.5 percent of White students, 54.1 percent of Hispanic/Latino students, and 76.3 percent of Grade 9 students identified as Two or More Races successfully completed a mathematics course with a grade of C or higher. Also, 52.0 percent of students who received Free and Reduced-price Meal System services, 45.9 percent of students who received special education services, and 50.9 percent of students identified as limited English proficient successfully completed a mathematics course with a grade of C or higher in Grade 9.
Participation in certain extracurricular activities at the high school level require academic eligibility for participation. In order to be eligible for these activities, students must maintain a marking period average of 2.0 or higher and fail no more than one course per marking period. Students who do not meet these academic standards are ineligible to participate in some extracurricular activities during the subsequent marking period. The Grade 9 ineligibility milestone focuses on the percent of grade 9 students who were chronically ineligible — those students ineligible 3 or 4 marking periods — during the 2014-2015 school year.
In the 2014–2015 school year, 12.8 percent of all MCPS grade 9 students were chronically ineligible. Read More
Racial/ethnic group examination of this milestone reveals that less than 5 percent of Asian, 18.9 percent of Black or African American, 23.9 percent of Hispanic/Latino, less than 5 percent of White, and 7.8 percent of grade 9 students identified as two or more races were chronically ineligible during the 2014-2015 school year. For students receiving services, 25.1 percent of grade 9 students who received free and reduced priced meals, 30.1 percent of grade 9 students who received special education services, and 21.1 percent of grade 9 students identified as limited English proficient were chronically ineligible during the 2014-2015 school year.
Students who successful completion of Algebra 2 during high school has been found in research, both nationally and within MCPS, to indicate less likelihood to need remediation upon entry to college and more likely to enroll in college, remain in college, and earn a bachelor's degree. Algebra 2 is one of the required high school courses for college admission in the University System of Maryland and many other colleges.
The Algebra 2 milestone is based on the successful completion of the course (C or higher) by the end of Grade 11. In the 2014-2015 school year, 65.7 percent of eligible students successfully achieved this milestone. Read More
From 2013 to 2015, the rate for successful completion of Algebra 2 by the end of Grade 11 increased by 1.9 percentage points for all students (63.8 percent to 65.7 percent). For the 2014-2015 school year, 83.6 percent of Asian students, 49.5 percent of Black or African American students, 44.8 percent of Hispanic/Latino students, 79.2 percent of White students, and 72.7 percent of students identified as Two or More Races successfully completed Algebra 2 with a grade of C or higher by the end of Grade 11. Additionally, 43.9 percent of students who received Free and Reduced-price Meal System services, 27.8 percent of students who received special education services, and 39.6 percent of students identified as limited English proficient successfully completed Algebra 2 with a grade of C or higher by the end of Grade 11.
The Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) exams are used as indicators to measure student readiness for college-level work and are used by colleges for possible course credit and advanced placement. Students who earn AP exam scores of 3 or higher or IB exam scores of 4 or higher may receive college credit or advanced placement upon entry to college. The district milestone focuses on the percent of MCPS graduates who met these benchmarks during the school year.
Of the 10,353 graduates in the MCPS Class of 2015, 52.6 percent earned a score of 3 or higher on at least one AP exam or 4 or higher on at least one IB exam, a slight decrease of 0.3 points from 2013. Read More
Among racial/ethnic subgroups and service groups of graduates, an increase in the percentage of graduates who earned at least one AP exam score of 3 or higher or at least one IB exam score of 4 or higher was observed for African American students (3.5 point increase), Hispanic/Latino students (1.0 point increase), white students (1.2 point increase), and students identified as two or more races (0.9 point increase). Slight decreases were observed for Asian students (1.3 point decrease), students receiving free and reduced priced meals (1.8 point decrease), and students identified as limited English proficient (2.7 point decrease) in 2015 compared to rates for 2013.
The SAT and ACT are measures of student readiness for college-level work. This milestone highlights the percent of graduate test takers who earned a combined score at or above 1650 out of a possible 2400 points on the three SAT subtests: critical reading, mathematics, and writing or a composite score at or above 24 out of a possible 36 points on the four ACT subtests: English, mathematics, social science, and biology. The SAT/ACT performance rate for MCPS graduate test takers decreased from 53.1 percent in 2013 to 52.7 percent in 2015. Read More
All racial/ethnic groups improved their rates (0.2 to 2.6 percentage points) of meeting college readiness benchmarks from 2013 to 2015, with the rate being highest for Black or African American students. Rates for graduates who received FARMS remained relatively steady from 2013 to 2015 (17.5 percent and 17.7 percent, respectively). Rates of meeting college readiness benchmarks for students receiving special education services in the Class of 2015, decreased 1.9 points compared with their peers in the Class of 2013. From 2013 to 2015, the rate of meeting college readiness benchmark scores for LEP graduates increased 1.9 percentage points.
The MCPS graduation rate for the 2014-2015 school year was 89.4 percent, a slight decrease from the previous year. During the past three years, the graduation rate has risen 3 percent. Students receiving Free and Reduced-price Meals demonstrated the largest three-year improvement with an increase of 5.4 percent. Black/African American students and Hispanic/Latino students had a 4.5 and 3.0 percent increase, respectively. MCPS has exceeded this year's four-year cohort graduation rate Annual Measurable Objective by 1.3 percentage points for all students.