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Initial PARCC Assessment Results Released

Posted November 5, 2015

HAGERSTOWN, MD (November 5, 2015) – Washington County Public Schools (WCPS) and other public school systems across Maryland are seeing initial results of the first administration of the new Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) assessments, according to a press release from the Maryland State Department of Education. Students took PARCC assessments in the fall of 2014 and spring of 2015 and the results from Algebra I, Algebra II and English 10 are being released today.

On a statewide basis, less than 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. However, more than 40 percent of WCPS students achieved a score at Level 4 or 5. 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.

On the Algebra I assessment, 28.3 percent of WCPS students attained a Level 4 or 5, while slightly more than 30 percent of high school students across the state attained Level 4 and 5.  Also released today was the local system and school data for Maryland’s first-ever Algebra II test.  More than 20 percent of students across the state scored at a Level 4 and 5 combined on that test, while just under 17 percent of WCPS students scored at the same level.

When including students scoring at Level 3 in the total number, WCPS exceeded the state on all three assessments. Level 3 indicates students approaching readiness for college or career, as one would expect when transitioning to a new assessment of higher standards. The percentage of WCPS students scoring at the top three levels in the Algebra II assessment outpaced the state by more than six percentage points, more than three percentage points in Algebra I, and by just under one percentage point in English 10.

“We anticipated a drop in overall achievement as we work toward meeting Maryland’s College and Career Ready Standards,” said Dr. Clayton Wilcox, WCPS superintendent of schools. “Maryland’s new academic standards are more challenging and we expect that Washington County students will rise to the challenge, just as they have in years past.”

PARCC results cannot be compared with either the Maryland School Assessment (MSA) or the High School Assessments (HSA) in algebra and English 10, which the State used for a decade.  PARCC assessments are structured differently and cover a more rigorous set of standards. PARCC is the first assessment aligned to Maryland’s College and Career Ready Standards, which set a higher bar for student learning and will show growth in student achievement over time. According to the state release of information, results from the PARCC assessments will not be used for student or educator accountability this year. 

These results represent the first of two PARCC data releases this year. Elementary and middle school results will be issued in early December, along with individual student score reports.