MD Student Assessments: Math Generally Down as MD Phases out PARCC

The annual PARCC scores from Maryland show student achievement dropping to a low point, especially in math. The disappointing results come as the state debates a major new vision for, and investment in, public schools.

board-2450236_960_720The annual Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) test, used by Maryland and many other states as a readiness/mastery indicator for student achievement, indicates disappointing results for many Maryland school districts.

From coverage in the Baltimore Sun:

Student math achievement has long lagged behind reading in Maryland, and this year’s results on the annual spring PARCC tests highlighted the continued failure of schools to come up with a better way to teach the subject.

While English proficiency rose by 2 percentage points to 43.7%, math scores fell or stayed flat at every level of elementary and middle schools, according to state education data released Tuesday.

Overall, only a third of students in grades three through eight passed the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career math tests, a drop of 1 percentage point. It’s the state’s worst math performance since 2015, the first year the test was administered.

The WBAL site coverage notes that the reaction to the test scores has been varied:

In Baltimore, the State Board of Education was getting its first look at PARCC test results, which came up short in math. There were modest increases in English language arts.

“There’s no simple answer here and there is no particular comfort here in saying that other states are seeing some of the similar results,” David Steiner, member of the State Board of Education, said.

Cheryl Bost, the president of Maryland’s State Education Association, doesn’t put much stock in a single test.

“We’re using a snapshot to make a big judgment of our schools, but we know greater progress will come when we have a greater investment in our public schools,” Bost said.

Maryland is already planning to phase out the use of the PARCC testing system, in lieu of another student achievement measure, beginning with the next school year.

To search for PARCC results by school, use the Baltimore Sun‘s online search tool.

Michael Sanderson

Executive Director Maryland Association of Counties