Scores up in English Language Arts for BCPS
Baltimore County Public Schools students showed improvement on the English Language Arts assessment in Grades 3 to 7 and Grade 10, according to 2017 data from the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC). There was a slight decrease of 0.1 percentage in English Language Arts in Grade 8.
As seen in statewide scores, BCPS results for Mathematics were mixed, with slight increases at Grades 4 and 6.
The data was released by the Maryland State Department of Education.
“What’s most encouraging is that our original 10 elemen- tary Lighthouse schools outperformed both BCPS and the State in English Language Arts and Mathematics at Grades 3 to 5. These schools have had the support of a digital curriculum, professional learning for teachers on student engagement and personalization, and 1:1 student devices since fall 2014,” said BCPS Interim Superintendent Verletta White. “Clearly, our work to meet individual student needs is paying off.”
Superintendent White continued, “While we are happy to see progress toward college and career readiness in English Language Arts, we are committed to preparing students for today’s mathematical standards and practices, which require not just problem solving, but reading, understanding, analyzing, synthesizing, and writing. This year’s priorities will help students develop these skills by strengthening literacy across the content areas, as well as building relationships and providing wraparound services that support positive school climates.”
In addition to providing more opportunities for students to solve complex mathematical problems, the Office of Mathematics will continue supporting professional learning for lead teachers. Outreach strategies to support math learning at home include a new blog, workshops, and more online resources.
Grade 10 students increased the most in English Language Arts —4.1 percentage points, from 42% to 46.1%—with gains seen across the system’s three largest racial and ethnic groups: White, Black, and Hispanic students.
Scores for elementary stu- dents increased 2 percentage points, from 37.1% to 39.1%, in English Language Arts, including gains for White, Black, and Hispanic students.
Also in English Language Arts at the middle school level, scores increased 0.8 percentage point, from 32.9% to 33.7%. Most racial and ethnic groups made gains, but scores for Hispanic students decreased 1.5 percentage points.
The PARCC exams are considerably more rigorous than the Maryland School Assessment tests they replaced in 2015, and are designed to provide students, parents, and teachers a better idea of where students stand in regard to college and career readiness. PARCC scores are not being used for educator, school, or system-level accountability purposes at this time.
State, BCPS, and schoollevel PARCC data are available on the Maryland State Department of Education’s report card website at MdReportCard.org.