Somerset County School District

Instructional Division » PARCC

PARCC

Preparing Our Students for a Changing World -  Maryland's College and Career Ready Standards Unlock Student Potential
     More Maryland students are graduating high school than ever before.  But too many students are not prepared to do college-level work-or to compete for skilled jobs after graduation.  We need to close the "skills gap"-and ensure our children graduate ready to succeed.
 
     Todays colleges and employers seek young adults who can analyze and solve problems, apply math, science, and technology in a real-world setting and write and think clearly.  Education needs to keep pace with our changing society. 
 
     We need enriched content, hands-on learning and information to follow students' progress.  Teachers are receiving new training.  Students are mastering more complex information, gaining new skills and working independently and in groups.  Parents can encourage their children to reach higher, try new activities, and discover new passions.
 
     PARCC assessments will provide all of us with the most accurate snapshot yet of how well students are learning what they need to know to move on to the next grade or graduate ready for college and career.  Teachers can use this information to guide instruction at each grade level- so everyone is prepared to succeed.  See the  related attachment below.
 
  
 
 
    
 
 
Frequently Asked Questions
  1. What will PARCC scores show?  This is the first year of results for the new PARCC state assessments.  The scores will set a new baseline for academic growth-and allow us to measure growth in the coming years.  Teachers and parents will get a sense of how well students are learning Maryland's new college-and-career-ready academic standards-and who needs additional instructional support.
  2. What does it mean if students' PARCC scores drop? Since PARCC is new-the first assessment designed specifically to evaluate progress toward our new standards_ there is no drop in scores on a test that was never given before.  Nor is there any statistical basis to compare these scores with other test scores, or to characterize them as low.  This is a very different kind of assessment that asks students to analyze information and show their work; it's not based primarily on rote memorization or multiple-choice responses, as many other tests are.  That said, we are raising the bar and asking more of our students, so we should expect to see scores improve over time as students increasingly master new skills and knowledge.
  3. How were the scores determined?  Maryland relied heavily on the judgment of teachers, principals, higher education experts, and other educators.  In fact, more than 200 educators (including about 25 from Maryland) participated in a rigorous, extensive process, examining each test item and judging how well students would perform on that item.  They also looked at results from similar assessments to determine the right score to represent each of the five performance levels.
  4. When will PARCC results be available?  The districts will receive PARCC high school data in October; state-and- district-level results will be announced publically at the October 27 State Board of Education meeting.  The districts will receive PARCC elementary/middle school data in November; state-and district-level results will be announced publically at the December 8 Board of Education meeting.
  5. Why are some PARCC states releasing their data information before Maryland?Each state in the PARCC Consortium needs to inform its own state education board and commission members of the results.  As the states keep their own calendars for this purpose, the announcements will not occur on the same day, or necessarily in the same month.  Moreover, to ensure that the test results are presented accurately, time is needed to analyze and compile the data that is embedded in both the online and paper-based tests that students took.
  6. When will parents see their children's PARCC scores?Each district will decide when to mail or otherwise distribute individual student score reports.  It is estimated that high school reports will reach households in early-to-mid December, while elementary/middle  student  score reports will reach households no later than early January.
  7. What is happening with PARCC this school year?Overall, the PARCC test will be shorter by about 90 minutes and there will not be as much time spent testing.  Students will take PARCC in English Language Arts and mathematics after they have completed 80% of the school year or the course (in high school).  This means there will be just one 30-day testing window, rather than the two testing windows in the prior school year.
 
 
 
  • FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                              CONTACT:  Bill Reinhard, 410-767-0486

     

    HIGH SCHOOL TEST RESULTS SET NEW BASELINE FOR MARYLAND STUDENTS

     

    Initial PARCC Scores Released in Algebra I, Algebra II and English 10

     

     

    BALTIMORE (October 27, 2015) – The data released today 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. The data were presented to the Maryland State Board of Education.

     

    Nearly 40 percent of high school students taking the PARCC English 10 assessment last spring scored at a Level 4 and 5 combined – the two highest levels on the PARCC five-point score scale. More than 30 percent of high school students attained Level 4 and 5 combined in algebra I. 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.

     

    Data files containing local schools’ high school results will be made available by the Maryland State Department of Education on November 5.

     

    “The initial PARCC results represent a new starting line for Maryland students, teachers, and families as we strive to better prepare our students to get on track for success after graduation,” said Interim State Superintendent of Schools Jack R. Smith. “But it is important to recognize that this data is only a snapshot; it’s one additional measure to use when viewing the progress of our students, along with many other factors.  This is a challenging assessment, and the data reflects that.” 

     

    Also released today was the statewide data for Maryland’s first-ever algebra II test. More than 20 percent of students scored at a Level 4 and 5, combined, on that test.

     

    Significant score differences exist between student subgroups:

     

    Algebra I: Overall, 31.2 percent of students scored at a level 4 and 5 combined; African American students, 12.8 percent scored at a level 4 and 5; Asian students, 62.4 percent scored at a 4 and 5; Hispanic students, 16.8 percent scored at a 4 and 5; White students, 45.2 percent scored at a 4 andr 5; and students of Two or More Races, 38.7 percent scored at a 4 and 5. Among students receiving special services, 5.9 percent of special education students scored at a level 4 and 5 combined; 6.5 percent of limited English proficient students scored at a 4 and 5; and 13.2 percent of students receiving free or reduced price meals (the federal proxy for poverty) scored at a 4 and 5.

     

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    HIGH SCHOOL TEST RESULTS SET NEW

    BASELINE FOR MARYLAND STUDENTS

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    English 10: Overall, 39.7 percent of students scored at a level 4 and 5 combined; African American students, 25.2 percent scored at a 4 and 5; Asian students, 62.4 percent scored at a 4 and 5; Hispanic students, 27.5 percent scored at a 4 and 5; White students, 49.8 scored at 4 and 5; Two or More Races, 44.9 scored at a 4 and 5. Among students receiving special services, 7.1 percent of special education students scored a 4 and 5 combined; 2.3 percent of limited English proficient students scored a 4 and 5; and 22.7 of students receiving free or reduced price meals scored a 4 and 5.

     

    Algebra II: Overall, 20.2 percent of students scored at a level 4 and 5 combined; African American students, 5.7 percent scored at a 4 and 5; Asian students, 45.9 percent scored at a 4 and 5; Hispanic students, 11.4 percent scored at a 4 and 5; White students, 26.6 percent scored at a 4 and 5; Two or More Races, 25.2 percent scored at a 4 and 5. Among students receiving special services; 5.7 percent of special education students scored at a 4 and 5; 10.3 percent of limited English proficient students scored at a 4 and 5; and 6.7 percent of students receiving free or reduced price meals scored at a 4

    and 5.

     

    Results from 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.

     

     

    PARCC Hits the Reset Button

     

    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
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    HIGH SCHOOL TEST RESULTS SET NEW

    BASELINE FOR MARYLAND STUDENTS

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    The MSA results were based on the previous academic standards, which have not been in use since 2013-14, or earlier. The MSA had just three performance levels and were set at a less rigorous target. The 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,” Dr. Smith said. “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 82 percent of students took online assessments during the first administration.  Paper-pencil assessments are available as needed in the first three years.

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    Maryland Sets Path for Release of New Assessment Results
     
    The Maryland State Department of Education will unveil the first round of state-level data from new state assessments in October.  Officials will release statewide data on the high school tests in algebra and English 10 at the October 27 meeting of the Maryland State Board of Education.  State data for the elementary and middle school assessments in mathematics and reading/English language arts will follow at the December 8 board meeting.  Home reports will be issued in November for high school students and December for elementary and middle school students. Click on the related state press release below.
    PARCC TIMELINE-OVERVIEW
    Look at the attachment  below which provides a timeline for the release of high school PARCC results and elementary and middle school PARCC results.
     
    Updated PARCC Timeline-October 23.
    MSDE has developed the following timeline for the distribution of State-level and LEA-level PARCC data:
    • Oct. 23 - MSDE will release embargoed high school PARCC data to LEAs. Each LEA will receive their own LEA and school-level data. 
    • Oct. 27 – During the Maryland State Board of Education meeting, MSDE will discuss State-level high school PARCC data with the Board. The embargo will be lifted on State-level high school data.
    • November 4-6 – High school Individual Student Reports will arrive in school systems or schools. (The reports will be sent in the manner requested by the LEA).Card will go live following the presentation. It will contain only State-level aggregate data. 
    • November 5 – The embargo will be lifted on high school PARCC system-level data. High school LEA and school-level information will be published on the MD Report Card. The State Board will be provided an update on LEA level high school results in a memo.  Press requesting this will receive a datafile on November 4.
    • November 6 - MSDE will release embargoed grades 3 through 8 PARCC data to LEAs. Each LEA will receive their own LEA and school-level data.
    • December 8 – During the Maryland State Board of Education meeting, MSDE will discuss grades 3-8 PARCC data with the Board. The embargo will be lifted on LEA data for grades 3-8. ALL data will be posted on MD Report Card.  Press requesting it will receive a datafile on Dec. 7.

    K12 AND HIGHER EDUCATION LEADERS ARE COMMITTED TO HIGHER STANDARDS TO PREPARE STUDENTS FOR SUCCESS

    ORGANIZATIONS SEE PARCC SCORES SETTING NEW BASELINE FOR GROWTH TO COLLEGE AND CAREER-READINESS

    CATONSVILLE, MD - The Public School Superintendents Association of Maryland (PSSAM), the Maryland Association of Community Colleges (MACC), the University System of Maryland (USM) and the Maryland Independent College and University Association (MICUA) applaud the first release of state-level, high school results on new state assessments.

    Maryland’s public schools and higher education institutions are among the finest in the nation. Higher expectations represent an opportunity for us to continue working together in ways that prepare students for success in the classroom, the workplace and in life.

    The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) test results set a new baseline for academic growth and make more meaningful connections to post-secondary education and career success. We are committed to higher standards and want to emphasize that lower than expected scores on state tests are not cause for alarm.

    With new standards and new assessments, it is not possible to make comparisons to previous test administrations. The Maryland College and Career Ready (K-12) Standards for these tests are more challenging and better prepare students for postsecondary education and employment.

    All 24 of Maryland’s public school systems are fully implementing higher standards and new state exams that will show each student’s readiness for the next grade and academic growth over time. Maryland has a history of raising the bar and our students always grow to meet and exceed expectations with support from great educators and engaged parents.

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