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MSA results released and were lower as expected

msde logowithoutborderMaryland School Assessment scores have been released and were lower across the board in 2014 as was expected with the implementation of the new Maryland College and Career Ready Standards, according to data released today by the Maryland State Department of Education.

The transition continues next school year with full implementation of the Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Career (PARCC) assessments, which are aligned to the new standards and serve as a total reset of the State’s accountability system. Maryland field-tested the new online advanced assessments this spring as the final MSA tests were completed.

“Our schools have fully implemented the new Maryland College and Career Ready Standards, so we knew going into this assessment period that the standards and the curricula being taught were not completely aligned,” said State Superintendent of Schools Lillian M. Lowery. “However, school systems can use the MSA data to continue analyzing the achievement of specific student groups, classrooms, and schools. These results, where we still have some groups of students performing better, can point us to best practices grounded in analytical thinking skills.”

The percentage of elementary students scoring at the proficient levels in reading on the MSA was 84.3 percent this year compared to 86.4 percent in 2013, while the percentage of elementary students scoring at the proficient levels in mathematics was 75.8 percent compared to 83.9 last year. The percentage of middle school students scoring at proficient levels in reading was 79.6 percent compared to 84.3 percent in 2013, while mathematics scores were 63.1 percent this spring and 72.2 last year.

The results of the final MSA administration speak directly to the important changes that have been taking place in Maryland classrooms. The change in sequence and instructional shifts to higher standards are most apparent in mathematics.

The percentage of students scoring at proficient levels in MSA science also was affected by changes in standards, as schools moved toward implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The percentage of elementary students scoring in the proficient range in science fell 2.8 percentage points between 2013 and 2014, while the percentage of students scoring at the proficient range in middle school science dipped 2.0 points.

The Maryland State Board of Education in 2013 adopted the NGSS, which are aligned with the Maryland College and Career Ready Standards. School systems began implementing those new science standards last school year, with full implementation by 2017-18. New assessments based on the NGSS are in development.

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