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MSDE releases preliminary statewide spring 2022 Maryland Comprehensive Assessment Program assessment data

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UPDATE: MSDE has issued an update to this report here.

Original story below…


BALTIMORE, MD—This week, the Maryland State Department of Education released preliminary statewide English Language Arts (ELA), and Mathematics 2021-2022 school year assessment results, the first year of the new Maryland Comprehensive Assessment Program (MCAP) assessments. Preliminary statewide ELA results signify a return to pre-pandemic proficiency for several grade levels. While mathematics results demonstrate increasing proficiency in comparison to the 2021 Early Fall Assessment, proficiency remains below pre-pandemic performance outcomes.

Statewide, the 2021-2022 ELA assessments saw the greatest improvements across grades with 45% proficient in grades 3 and 4 and 40% proficient in grade 5. For the high school English 10th grade assessment, 53% of students were proficient. These results demonstrate increasing proficiency in comparison to the assessment results in Early Fall 2021 and suggest a return to pre-pandemic outcomes for several grade levels.

In mathematics, students saw gains in nearly all grades as compared to the prior year’s assessment administered in Early Fall 2021. However, student outcomes have not returned to pre-pandemic levels. In middle school, 17.6% of sixth grade students were proficient in math and just 6.5% of students who took the grade 8 assessment were proficient. The percent of students proficient in Algebra I was 14.5%, below pre-pandemic results of 27% proficient in 2019.

“Although we have seen some overall improvements, we cannot be satisfied with these results. It is critical that we continue to overcome the challenges of the pandemic and ensure all students have every opportunity to thrive academically, socially and emotionally,” said Maryland State Board of Education President Clarence C. Crawford. “State investment in the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future, emergency federal funding, MSDE’s leadership, and the development and implementation of our strategic plan are providing the foundation and resources needed to secure a bright future for every Maryland child.”

“While we are seeing a return to pre-pandemic levels in ELA, we cannot be satisfied to return to what was normal. Normal was not good enough for our historically underserved and economically disadvantaged students. Emerging from the pandemic, achievement and opportunity gaps have only widened. As a State, Maryland must ensure the necessary supports and MSDE must provide the needed guidance to achieve success for all students at scale,” said State Superintendent of Schools Mohammed Choudhury. “Even though we have much work to do, these early improvements affirm the active engagement and unwavering commitment of our teachers and school leaders in leveraging best in class and evidenced-based strategies to accelerate student learning. We must do whatever it takes to ensure students reach their fullest potential. All leaders in the State must remain focused on this and failure to do so is not an option.”

As required by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the MCAP assesses students annually in grades 3-8 and once in high school ELA, mathematics, and science. The assessment measures mastery of Maryland content standards to ensure that all students are progressing and receiving the necessary supports for remediation and enrichment.

Anew assessment, the ELA and mathematics assessments completed a federally required standard setting process involving Maryland educators from all 24 Local Education Agencies (LEAs). The Maryland State Board of Education adopted the new score ranges for each performance level at today’s State Board Meeting. The Spring 2022 MCAP results include four student performance levels: distinguished learner, proficient learner, developing learner and beginning learner. Both distinguished and proficient learners are considered proficient.

All Maryland students participating in the Spring 2022 assessments will receive an Individual Student Report (ISR). This report enables educators and families to better understand a student’s proficiency on Maryland content standards individually and in comparison to peers in their school, county or city, and the State. MSDE will publish final 2021-2022 assessment results, including disaggregation of data by LEA and student groups, at the January Board meeting.

MSDE is directing resources to LEAs as outlined in the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future policy, as well as the implementation of the American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) plan that provides an approximate $1.95 billion in emergency federal funds to meet the urgent needs of schools and students. The plan focuses on: accelerating student engagement, supporting mental and social-emotional health, and addressing disrupted education with evidence-based strategies such as tutoring and direct resources to students most impacted.

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