PARCC Results Released for Garrett County

Last Updated on Nov 10, 2015 at 7:55pm |

Initial PARCC Scores Released in Algebra I, Algebra II and English 10
 
Garrett County Public Schools data released for Maryland’s new high school assessments set a new baseline that will help to determine if students are on track to graduate ready for college or careers.
 
Overall, 38.1 percent of Garrett County students in the PARCC Algebra I assessment scored at a Performance Level 4 and 5 combined (the two highest levels on the PARCC five-point score scale) compared to 31.2 percent at the state level.  In English 10, 42.2 percent of Garrett County students scored at a level 4 and 5 combined, compared to 39.7 percent at the state level.  For high school, achieving Level 4 or 5 indicates readiness for college and is intended to help students avoid the need to take additional coursework before taking credit-bearing courses beyond high school. The scores required to meet these thresholds were determined over the summer by Maryland educators and their peers around the country.
 
“Our instructional staff and administrators continue to work diligently to meet the needs of every student,” says Dr. Janet Wilson, Superintendent. “The new PARCC assessments are designed to measure students’ progress toward college and career readiness.  As has been done in the past, the results will be used to make the necessary adjustments to curriculum, instruction, and local formative and summative assessments to improve upon our baseline.  Maryland has had some form of a K-12 testing program for over 20 years and as with Garrett County’s performance growth on past forms of assessments, I am confident that in time, our students will be top performers on the PARCC assessment.  These assessments are just one way to evaluate a student’s progress.  I appreciate all of the focused work that has occurred to establish this baseline.”
 
Also, data from Maryland’s first-ever Algebra II test indicates that 16.9 percent of Garrett County students scored at a Level 4 and 5 combined, compared to 20.2 percent at the state level.  
 
The results of the PARCC assessments will not be used for student, school, or educator accountability this year.  In the coming months, the State Board will determine how the data will be used going forward.  Garrett County, however, will use the data to plan professional development, student interventions, materials needed for instruction, and other educational decisions.
 
PARCC results cannot be compared with the Maryland School Assessment (MSA/HSA), 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 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
 
The MSA/HSA results were based on the previous academic standards, which have not been in use since 2013-14, or earlier.  The MSA/HSA had just three performance levels and were set at a less rigorous target.  As a result, most students were considered proficient in the subject matter when Maryland adopted the plan for higher standards and more advanced assessment in 2010.  This pattern of raising standards and creating new assessments has been in place in Maryland since the 1980s.
 
“Maryland has a history of strengthening standards on a regular basis,” said Interim State Superintendent of Schools Jack R. Smith.  “As the rigor has been raised with each target, our students and teachers have worked to make the grade.  The results have served students -- and our State -- very well, as students perform better over time.”
 
Future PARCC test results will be available sooner as more students are assessed online.  More than 99 percent of Garrett County students took online assessments during the spring administration.  Paper-pencil assessments are available as needed in the first three years.
 
The PARCC Home Reports for high school students will be sent home the week of November 9th.  If there are questions concerning the Home Reports, parents should contact the child’s school and teachers.  Garrett County Public Schools website has a variety of PARCC resources to understand a student’s home report, as well as a general knowledge of the PARCC tests.  The website is:  https://garrettcountyschools.org/public-information/parcc-assessment-resources .
 
Also, a video entitled “Parent Guide to the PARCC School Reports”, compliments of Baltimore County Public Schools, can be viewed at https://vimeo.com/143621792 .