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MCPS Students Make Gains on PARCC Assessments

September 28, 2016

Data released by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) show that Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) students made gains in performance and continue to outperform their peers across the state on the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career (PARCC) assessments.

“The PARCC results provide valuable information that will help MCPS monitor student achievement and ensure that we are preparing all MCPS students for lifelong success,” said Montgomery County Board of Education President Michael Durso. “We know that these assessments are far more rigorous than the Maryland School Assessments and High School Assessments and it is encouraging to see improvements in the scores. However, we continue to see significant achievement gaps that require immediate action.”

The individual school and district results for Mathematics, Grades 3-8 and Algebra 1 and English language Arts/Literacy (ELA), Grades 3-8 and 10 were released on September 27.  Overall, scores in nearly every category showed measurable improvement over the previous year. 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.

The state 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.

On the 2016 PARCC assessments—

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

ELA, Grade 3: 44.7 percent of MCPS students met or exceeded expectations, which is a 3.5 percentage point increase over the previous year and 7.2 points higher than the performance across the state (37.5 percent);

ELA, Grade 4: 49.8 percent of MCPS students met or exceeded expectations, which is a 2.9 percentage point increase over the previous year and  9.5 points higher than the performance across the state (40.3 percent); and

ELA, Grade 5: 50.4 percent of MCPS students met or exceeded expectations, which is a 2 percentage point increase over the previous year and 11 points higher than the state (39.4 percent).

Mathematics, Grade 3: 54.1 percent of students met or exceeded expectations, which is an 11.3 percentage point increase over the previous year and 10.1 points higher than the performance across the state (44 percent);

Mathematics, Grade 4: 48.6 percent of students met or exceeded expectations, which is a 10.1 percentage point increase over the previous year and 11.6 points higher than the performance across the state (37 percent); and

Mathematics, Grade 5: 45.4 percent of students met or exceeded expectations, which is an 8.7 percentage point increase over the previous year and 8.9 points higher than the state (36.6 percent).

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

ELA, Grade 6: 46.5 percent of MCPS students met or exceeded expectations, which is a 5.6 percentage point increase over the previous year and 9.5 points higher than the performance across the state (37 percent);

ELA, Grade 7: 44.3 percent of MCPS students met or exceeded expectations, which is a 4.8 percentage point decrease from the previous year and 4.9 points higher than the performance across the state (39.4 percent); and

ELA, Grade 8: 47.9 percent of MCPS students met or exceeded expectations, which is a decrease of 3 percentage points from last year and 9.3 points higher than the state (38.6 percent).

Mathematics, Grade 6: 42.8 percent of students met or exceeded expectations, which is a 5.1 percentage point increase over the previous year and 10.2 points higher than the performance across the state (32.6 percent);

Mathematics, Grade 7: 31.6 percent of students met or exceeded expectations, which is a 7.8 percentage point increase over the previous year and 7.4 points higher than the performance across the state (24.2 percent); and

Mathematics, Grade 8: 38.9 percent of students met or exceeded expectations, which is a 2.3 percentage point increase over the previous year and 17.0 points higher than the state (21.9 percent).

English Language Arts/Literacy (ELA) 10 and Algebra 1

ELA, Grade 10: 47.9 percent of MCPS students met or exceeded expectations, which is a 3.9 percentage point increase over the previous year and 3.5 points higher than the performance across the state (44.4 percent)

Algebra 1: 44.3 percent of students met or exceeded expectations, which is a 5.7 percentage point increase over the previous year and 8.7 points higher than the performance across the state (35.6 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). Although student performance improved across the board on the PARCC assessments, the results also highlight significant achievement gaps and demonstrate the urgent need to address persistent gaps in performance and improve student performance in literacy and math.

“The PARCC assessment is not a perfect test, but the results do provide another important data point about student learning,” stated MCPS Superintendent of Schools Jack R. Smith. While we are pleased to see that many of our students continue to outperform their peers across the state, we cannot be satisfied until all of our students meet or exceed their potential.”

MCPS will include this data in its school and district improvement efforts and will use them, along with other information, to help improve teaching and learning.

Scores on the PARCC Assessment are not being used for student, educator, school or system-level accountability purposes at this time.  Maryland is currently in the midst of reviewing and revising its accountability system, under the new federal Every Child Succeeds Act.

2016 MCPS PARCC Results

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