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PARCC Results Released for Garrett County

Last Updated on Dec 9, 2015 at 7:30am | Public Information Office

Initial PARCC Scores Released for Elementary and Middle Math and Language
 
The Garrett County Public Schools released data, pertaining to Maryland’s new elementary and middle school assessments, setting a new baseline that will help to gauge whether students are on track for the next grade.
 
Overall, 33.9 percent of Garrett County elementary students in the English Language Arts assessment scored at a Performance Level 4 and 5 combined (the two highest levels on the PARCC five-point score scale) compared to 39.4 percent at the state level.  In Mathematics, 26.4 percent of the elementary students scored at a level 4 and 5 combined, compared to 32.3 percent at the state level. 
 
In middle school, 34.3 percent of Garrett County students in the English Language Arts assessment scored at a Performance Level 4 and 5 combined compared to 38.3 percent at the state level.  In Mathematics, 31.4 percent of the middle school students scored at a level 4 and 5 combined, compared to 25.0 percent at the state level. 
 
Achieving a Performance Level 4 or 5 indicates that the student met or exceeded the academic expectations at grade levels. It also indicates readiness for coursework in English and math at the next grade, with the goal of preparing students to enter college or career upon graduation.  The scores required to meet the five performance levels were determined over the summer by Maryland educators and their peers around the country.
 
“The new PARCC assessments are designed to measure students’ progress toward college and career readiness using the Maryland College and Career Readiness Standards (MCCRS) and our teachers and administrators will continue to work diligently to meet the needs of every student,” stated Dr. Janet Wilson, Superintendent.  “We will analyze the results and continue to make alignment adjustments to curriculum, instruction, and local formative and summative assessments to improve upon this baseline.  One new component of this testing program is the individual home reports students will receive. It is important to consider that these new assessments are just one way to evaluate a student’s progress in selected areas.  I appreciate all of the focused work that has occurred to establish this baseline and look forward to working with the staff to make changes based on the students’ needs.”
 
These initial results provide a new springboard for Maryland students, as we continue our work to better prepare them for what lies ahead,” said Interim State Superintendent of Schools Jack R. Smith.  “We have set the bar high, and this data reflects that. These results should be viewed in combination with other measures when assessing student progress.”
 
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), 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 results were based on the previous academic standards, which have not been in use since 2013-14.  The MSA 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 continues to incrementally strengthen its learning standards, and we expect our students to improve dramatically overtime, as they have in the past,” Dr. Smith said.  “With each new, more difficult target, our students and teachers have worked to make the grade.  The end result has been better prepared graduates, momentum which must continue.”
 
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 elementary and middle school students will be sent home the week of December 7th.  If there are questions concerning the Home Reports, parents should contact the child’s school and teacher(s).  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 .