Slightly more Howard County students passed portions of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career this year.

Data released by the Maryland State Board of Education on Tuesday showed that 58.4% of Howard students passed English, up 2.1 percentage points from last year, while 47.8% passed in math, down about 1 percentage point.

Advertisement

Statewide, while proficiency rose by 2 percentage points in English to 43.7%, math scores fell or stayed relatively flat at every level of elementary and middle schools, according to the data. Overall, only a third of students in third through eighth grades passed the PARCC math tests, a drop of 1 percentage point.

The results of the test are divided into five performance levels, with level 1 as the lowest and level 5 as the highest. Performance level 4 or 5 is considered “proficient” on the assessment by the state school board.

On the 2018 Algebra I assessment, 57% of county students received a 4 or 5 score, while 62.6% of students performed that well last year, according to school data. For the 10th grade English test, nearly 61% of students scored the higher levels, a dip from the 65.2% of students who scored it a year ago.

This year at Marriotts Ridge High School, 94% passed in Algebra 2, while only 34% passed at Oakland Mills High School. At Glenelg High School, 89.3% of students passed the 10th grade English test, while 45.1% passed at Hammond High School.

Clarksville Middle School topped two of the four categories in the region — sixth to eighth grade English and math — while Clarksville Elementary was first for math in grades three to five.

Howard schools Superintendent Michael Martirano said in a statement Wednesday that PARRC, alongside the school system’s internal performance measures, serves as “useful benchmarks to inform our instruction and help us identify opportunity gaps.”

“We value this added insight, while keeping it in perspective among the multiple performance measures" the school system uses to guide “our work in ensuring academic success and social-emotional well-being for every student,” he added.

Two PARCC assessments, the Algebra I and the 10th grade English exam, were previously used as graduation requirements for the Howard County Public School System. Maryland’s State Department of Education is introducing a new, shorter test this fall and spring called Maryland Comprehensive Assessment Program. The new state test will still focus on English and math as it has in previous years but with “new items developed by Maryland educators,” a state news release said.

PARCC was designed to align with the Common Core standards. The standardized national test has been criticized for being too disruptive and too time-consuming to the school schedule.

The state declined to release detailed demographic data along with initial PARCC scores as it has in years past. A persistent achievement gap between white and Asian students and Hispanic and black students has existed for years in PARCC assessments.

State Superintendent Karen Salmon said the "information will be used by educators in combination with class work, independently administered assessments, and other academic data to fuel and strengthen student outcomes. Analyzing assessment results and continuously monitoring students’ performance is an important step towards improvement.”

The state spent $11 million to administer the PARCC test this past spring.

Here are some of the top-scoring Howard County schools:

The Baltimore Sun contributed to this article.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement