Report Card Goes Beyond Test Scores for More Complete Picture
BALTIMORE – The 2018-19 Maryland School Report Card, released today, provides educators and parents with the most complete picture of school and school system performance in State history.
The Report Card, for the first time, includes a broad selection of performance indicators to help measure how schools are doing. In addition to student success and growth on State tests in English Language Arts and mathematics, the Maryland Report Card factors in progress in achieving English language proficiency for English Learners, chronic absenteeism, preparation for postsecondary success, access to a well-rounded curriculum and graduation rate. In the coming years, it will include the results of a student and faculty survey.
“Education is and will always remain our number one priority, and we owe it to Maryland families to provide them with as much information as possible to make informed decisions about their children’s education,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “The new Maryland Report Card will provide parents, teachers, and students with critical information about our schools and enhance transparency and accountability in our education system.”
Dr. Karen Salmon, State Superintendent of Schools, said that the simplified format of the Maryland Report Card is a major improvement.
“Our goal is to improve every school throughout our State, and prepare every student for a bright future,” said Dr. Karen Salmon, State Superintendent of Schools. “The new Maryland Report Card will help parents, educators, policymakers, and the general public gain a better understanding about how each school is doing based on our accountability measures. Together we are working toward making sure our schools are the best they can be.”
Schools receive points based on their results on the performance indicators. Educators and parents will be able to view a brief summary of performance by looking at a school’s Star Rating, which tallies the school’s total earned points percent and issues a rating from 1 to 5 stars; the Percentile Rank, which is how a school performed in comparison to other schools in the category; and the Total Earned Points Percent, which is the total number of points earned by the school across the measures, divided by the total possible points.
The new Maryland Report Card, based on the ESSA accountability plan, represents a quantum leap from previous versions of the Report Card in place for the past two decades. The changes were set in motion by the passage of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), signed into law in 2015. ESSA succeeded the No Child Left Behind Act in governing state school improvement plans.
ESSA prompted states to develop long term plans to improve schools through accountability and innovation. The State Board of Education, MSDE staff, superintendents, principals, teachers, parents, community leaders, advocacy groups, and other stakeholders around the State worked together to create an accountability system that measured relevant, actionable aspects of school performance. The State plan was approved by the U.S. Department of Education in early 2018.
Each school’s results on the Maryland accountability system are compiled and reported on the Maryland Report Card website. The individual School Report Cards are designed so parents, educators, stakeholders, and others can easily understand how their schools are performing, just as traditional report cards help parents understand how their students are performing academically in their classes and in other important ways.
The Maryland Report Card website and the School Report Cards are designed to spark conversation, ideas, and solutions for Maryland schools. Teachers and administrators should use these tools to inform and target improvements. The Report Card can help parents and stakeholders ask questions of school and district leaders, especially about their plans to improve the results. For state and district leaders, the Report Cards for schools and districts provide information about where resources and supports are most needed.
The Maryland State Department of Education’s Report Card website, MdReportCard.org is scheduled to go live at 12 noon, December 4.