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WCPS Students Exceed State Proficiency Rates on 93% of MCAP Assessments

Posted September 6, 2023

Washington County Public Schools (WCPS) students exceeded the state’s overall proficiency rates on 13 of the 14 (93 percent) Maryland Comprehensive Assessment Program (MCAP) assessments administered during the 2022-2023 school year.  The achievement comes as the statewide results show notable improvements in both literacy and mathematics, with literacy results surpassing pre-pandemic performance.  

Superintendent of Schools David Sovine says, “WCPS is making great strides and has seen proficiency levels increase compared to the 2021-2022 results.  It’s encouraging to see students in Washington County reaching higher levels of proficiency than the state average on nearly every assessment. While there is still room to grow, it is clear the efforts of our teachers and administrators, along with a renewed emphasis on early literacy, are positively impacting students.  As we continue focusing on literacy, math, and providing the necessary supports to help students achieve at the highest level, we will have more students reach greater levels of proficiency.” 

“I am so grateful to our educators, our school leaders, and our support staff who are committed to each and every student each day. With their guidance and expertise, our students will realize growth and success in the year ahead,” says Melissa Williams, President of the Washington County Board of Education. “Our staff will use this information to develop creative and innovative strategies to drive instruction and determine how to best meet the needs of each student,”

In the seven different grade level English Language Arts (ELA) assessments, WCPS students exceeded the state’s average proficiency level by two to nearly 12 percentage points.  On the ELA10 assessment in particular, WCPS ranked sixth in the state with 66.1% of tenth grade students meeting or exceeding grade level standards compared to 55% of high school sophomores statewide.  The 66.1% proficiency rate for the ELA10 test represents an all-time MCAP high for WCPS on that particular assessment.  WCPS also realized an all-time MCAP high in the percentage of students in grades 3-8 who tested as proficient or advanced on their respective ELA assessment.

WCPS students exceeded the state’s average proficiency level on six of the seven mathematics assessments.  The only assessment in which WCPS students did not exceed the state’s proficiency level was the third grade mathematics assessment.

At both the state level and within WCPS, a substantial percentage of students were on the cusp of achieving proficiency in both English Language Arts and mathematics. “Our students who were so close to reaching proficiency are poised for success,” says Sovine. “For example, 18% of students who took the ELA10 test were within 10 points of reaching proficiency.  Had all of those students gotten a few more questions correct and reached the proficiency level, our proficiency rate of 66.1%, which was ranked sixth in the state, would have been nearly 85%.”  

Sovine continues, “Reviewing the performance of WCPS students on the 2022-2023 MCAP assessments gives us clear direction for how educators can best facilitate student learning in the school year ahead.  WCPS is equipped with strategies and new resources to support students and address learning gaps. Our staff is prepared to provide supplemental instruction in math and literacy that is targeted to individual students so they may demonstrate their knowledge on future state assessments. We will continue to place high expectations on ourselves and all students. WCPS recognizes our key role in supporting our students to become productive, engaged citizens.” 

Proficiency on the MCAP assessment determines students’ College and Career Readiness, a benchmark determined through a renewed emphasis in the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future. The assessments measure mastery of Maryland content standards to ensure that all students are progressing and getting the necessary supports for remediation and enrichment.  The assessments include four student performance levels: Beginning Learner, Developing Learner, Proficient Learner, and Distinguished Learner.  Students at both the Proficient Learner and Distinguished Learner levels are considered proficient.