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While Carroll scores above state average on PARCC, educators acknowledge work still to be done

Carroll County Public Schools scored above state average in all PARCC categories, saw minor improvement in many scores from previous years and is among the top two — tying with Howard County — for proficiency for math grades three through eight and Algebra I, data released Tuesday from the Maryland State Department of Education shows.

But, while Carroll comes in toward the top, many categories reveal only about half of students are passing, showing there is still progress to be made.

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"Although our [English Language Arts] and math scores are relatively flat, we continue on an upward trend in student achievement. We continue to try to raise the proficiency levels of students in all student groups," CCPS spokeswoman Carey Gaddis said via email.

The most recent data from the Partnership for Assessments of Career and College Readiness assessment, or PARCC assessment was released Tuesday. PARCC was first given in 2015, and students' scores fall into one of five categories: exceeded expectations, met expectations, approached expectations, partially met expectations and did not meet expectations.

Passing means the student scored in either exceeded expectations or met expectations.

Tuesday's data shows CCPS had 51.8 percent of Carroll County students grades three through eight who passed English, and 54.9 percent of third- through eighth-graders who passed the math portion of the test.

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And statewide, only about half of Maryland 10th-graders passed the PARCC English test, which will be required to graduate, and 36.5 percent of those students who took Algebra I passed.

Whereas in Carroll County, 67.2 percent passed the 10th-grade English assessment, and 62 percent passed the Algebra I assessment. These numbers are up from last year, when 63 percent of 10th-grade students passed the English portion and 52.4 percent passed Algebra I.

For third- through eighth-grade, the percentage of students passing in English ranged from 48.1 percent (eighth grade) to 56.5 percent (fourth grade). In math, the range went from 46.6 percent passing (seventh grade) to 66.6 percent (third grade).

And while, CCPS saw some gains, Superintendent Stephen Guthrie said the school system is waiting for a bigger breakdown on the results for further discussion.

"We're very pleased with those results," he said. "We'll use these scores to form instruction in the classroom."

Guthrie said he hopes to bring this information to the school board's October meeting with more context for a full presentation and discussion.

"There is still more information we need to gain until we can really draw significant conclusions," he added.



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