The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) released State Assessment results for 2017-2018 at the State Board of Education meeting on August 28.  The exams utilize materials developed by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career (PARCC).  They are designed to provide students, parents and teachers with information regarding progress toward college and career readiness.

 According to an MSDE press release, statewide the percentage of students in grades 3-8 attaining a performance level of 4 or 5 on English Language Arts exams improved one percentage point over last school year to 41.6 points.   The percentage of students scoring at a performance level of 4 or 5 on mathematics in grades 3-8 also increased one point to 34.1 points. 

 Talbot County Public Schools assessment results were presented to the Board of Education at the September 19 meeting.  In English Language Arts grades 3-8, TCPS remained relatively consistent in the percentage of students scoring at a performance level of 4 or 5 at 42.4%.  For the grade 10 English assessment 52.4% of Talbot County Public Schools students scored a 4 or 5.

 “We analyze our data in a variety of ways to identify how we can improve instruction and thus student proficiency on the Maryland State Standards,” said Dr. Helga Einhorn, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction.  “This year we have been able to hire literacy coaches through a grant award from the Maryland State Department of Education. We are excited to provide our teachers with this resource and believe it will have an impact on our student assessment results as we move forward.”  Dr. Einhorn also noted that TCPS is in its second year of implementation of the Wonders Reading program at the elementary school.  “Fidelity in this level of instructional rigor will continue to move our results in the direction we are seeing in our 3rd and 4th grade data,” added Dr. Einhorn.

 In Mathematics, 32.6% of students in grades 3-8 attained a level 4 or 5.  Einhorn attributed the increase in grade 3 and grade 4 math to  the adoption of a new math curriculum in the elementary grades three years ago. “Our third and fourth graders are those who have been engaged in the new curriculum from the onset,” Einhorn explained.  TCPS has implemented strategies to positively impact math performance at the middle school level.  This includes the integration of math across content areas, implementing a summer, grant funded STEM enrichment camp for students, introducing targeted math coaching to support middle school teachers, and literacy coaches working with math teachers on reading strategies since the math assessment is heavily dependent on reading skills.

 On the Algebra I assessment, 29% of TCPS students performed at a level 4 or 5.  To foster improvement, TCPS Algebra teachers are implementing a resource that allows them to differentiate and personalize learning to meet student needs.  In addition, teachers are utilizing an online learning platform that allows students to complete immersive, computer adaptive modules that are differentiated to accelerate student learning.  In addition, Algebra I teachers are being provided with ongoing professional development in high impact math strategies for improving learning and  literacy coaches are collaborating with them on literacy strategies for improving mathematical reading.

 “Our staff is engaged in a much more comprehensive review of our PARCC data and is completing a comparative analysis of individual student performance on this one measure to the other measures of student mastery so that they have a more complete picture of student skills and where to implement additional supports,” concluded Dr. Einhorn.  “We feel this is essential for truly diagnosing root cause for both student strengths and areas for improvement.  Considering that we will administer PARCC for the last time this spring, we want to be proactive in looking at multiple measures of student progress.”


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