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Elementary, Middle School PARCC Results Set New Baseline for MCPS Students

December 8, 2015

Data released today (December 8) by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) show that Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) students in Grades 3–8 outperformed their peers across the state on new state assessments, but demonstrate the critical need to address persistent achievement gaps and improve student performance in literacy and math.

“These results set a new baseline to help our district monitor student achievement over time and ensure that all of our students are on track to graduate ready for college and career,” said Montgomery County Board of Education President Michael Durso. “The PARCC tests set a higher bar for our students, and it is clear from the significant achievement gaps that we are seeing that we have a lot of work to do.”

The assessments were developed by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers—or PARCC—and were taken for the first time in spring 2015 by students in Grades 3 through 8 and those who took three high school courses: Algebra 1, Algebra 2, and English 10. The school and district results for the reading and mathematics assessments for elementary and middle school students are being released today. The results of PARCC high school course assessments were released last month.

MCPS students outperformed the state average in both content areas at the elementary and middle grade levels. The tests are scored on a five-point scale—Level 1: Did Not Yet Meet Expectations; Level 2: Partially Met Expectations; Level 3: Approached Expectations; Level 4: Met Expectations; and Level 5: Exceeded Expectations.  Students scoring at levels 4 or 5 are considered to be on track to be college and career ready.

On the 2015 PARCC assessments—

English Language Arts/Literacy (ELA) and Mathematics Grades 3–5

ELA 3: 41.2 percent of MCPS students met or exceeded expectations, which is 3.1 points higher than the performance across the state (38.1 percent);

ELA 4: 46.9 percent of MCPS students met or exceeded expectations, which is 6.9 points higher than the performance across the state (40.0 percent); and

ELA 5: 48.4 percent of MCPS students met or exceeded expectations, which is 8.4 points higher than the state (40.0 percent).

Mathematics 3: 42.8 percent of students met or exceeded expectations, which is 6.4 points higher than the performance across the state (36.4 percent);

Mathematics 4: 38.5 percent of students met or exceeded expectations, which is 7.9 points higher than the performance across the state (30.6 percent); and

Mathematics 5: 36.7 percent of students met or exceeded expectations, which is 6.8 points higher than the state (29.9 percent).

English Language Arts/Literacy (ELA) and Mathematics Grades 6–8

ELA 6: 40.9 percent of MCPS students met or exceeded expectations, which is 4.8 points higher than the performance across the state (36.1 percent);

ELA 7: 49.1 percent of MCPS students met or exceeded expectations, which is 10.5 points higher than the performance across the state (38.6 percent); and

ELA 8: 50.9 percent of MCPS students met or exceeded expectations, which is 10.5 points higher than the state (40.4 percent).

Mathematics 6: 37.7 percent of students met or exceeded expectations, which is 8.2 points higher than the performance across the state (29.5 percent);

Mathematics 7: 23.8 percent of students met or exceeded expectations, which is 2.5 points higher than the performance across the state (21.3 percent); and

Mathematics 8: 36.6 percent of students met or exceeded expectations, which is 13.4 points higher than the state (23.2 percent).

PARCC exams measure more complex skills such as critical thinking, persuasive writing and problem solving, and are designed to more accurately determine if students are on track to graduate ready for college and careers.  The tests are much more rigorous than the previous Maryland School Assessments (MSA) and High School Assessments (HSA).  
 
“The PARCC scores indicate that we have a great deal of work to do with our students to ensure that they are on track to be college and career ready. That work starts in our earliest grades which is why we are focused on helping our students create a solid foundation so they will be well prepared for future success,” said Interim Superintendent Larry A. Bowers. “We continue to see significant achievement gaps which require immediate action. I believe our strategic priorities are focusing on the right work and will help us make progress in reducing the achievement gap.”

Mr. Bowers has identified five strategic priorities for the 2015–2016 school year to improve student achievement and set the district on a solid course of continuous improvement. The priorities include strengthening the foundation for academic success, particularly in mathematics and literacy; focusing on accountability and results; enhancing our culture of collaboration and respect; focusing on human capital management; and strengthening partnerships and engagement.

Percent scoring 4 or 5 by subgroup ELA 3 ELA 4 ELA 5
All Students 41.2 46.9 48.4
Asian 62.8 69 68.9
Black 25.8 29.9 30.6
Hispanic 19.3 23 23.5
White 60.5 66.4 69.3
Two or More Races 55.3 60.7 55.9
Special Education 11.8 12.7 9.7
English Language Learners 5.7 3.7 3.8
Students Impacted by Poverty 16 20.4 21.4

 

Percent scoring 4 or 5 by subgroup ELA 6 ELA 7 ELA 8
All Students 40.9 49.1 50.9
Asian 60.5 71.8 75.4
Black 22.5 29.3 31.4
Hispanic 18.5 24.8 27.9
White 59 69 68.2
Two or More Races 57.3 60.1 62.5
Special Education 8.3 9.2 9.4
English Language Learners 10.4 2.8 3
Students Impacted by Poverty 15.6 20.9 23.3

 

Percent scoring 4 or 5 by subgroup Mathematics 3 Mathematics 4 Mathematics 5
All Students 42.8 38.5 36.7
Asian 70.3 67.7 66.2
Black 26 19 17.4
Hispanic 20.5 15.2 14.6
White 61.6 56.3 52.2
Two or More Races 54.7 51 45
Special Education 14.8 11.1 7.9
English Language Learners 9.2 5.6 7.6
Students Impacted by Poverty 18.4 13.2 13.8

 

Percent scoring 4 or 5 by subgroup Mathematics 6 Mathematics 7 Mathematics 8
All Students 37.8 23.9 36.6
Asian 63.3 43.6 70.5
Black 18.1 8.3 16.5
Hispanic 14.6 9.2 13.5
White 55.9 41.6 54.9
Two or More Races 51.4 32 52.5
Special Education 10 6 5.3
English Language Learners 6 4.3 2.1
Students Impacted by Poverty 11.7 6.3 11.3

PARCC Memo

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