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HCPSS State Assessment Scores Show Improvement in Math and Reading

August 24th, 2023

Howard County Public School Students’ performance in English language arts (ELA) and mathematics achievement continues to improve, as reflected in 2023 Maryland Comprehensive Assessment Program (MCAP) scores released by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE).

The Spring 2023 MCAP state assessment was the second full length administration of the ELA and math tests that replaced the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC). MCAP is a combination of PARCC questions and Maryland educator-developed questions. The assessments use a four-point score scale, with students performing at levels 3 and 4 considered “proficient” and on track to graduate high school prepared to succeed in college and careers.

“I am pleased to see the improvement in our students’ MCAP scores from 2022 to 2023. These performance measures serve as useful benchmarks to inform our instruction and help us identify gaps in learning,” said Superintendent Michael J. Martirano. “This insight, among other performance measures embedded in our Strategic Call to Action, guides our work in ensuring academic success and social-emotional well-being for each of our students.”

HCPSS 2023 scores for students overall showed improvements for ELA and mathematics compared to 2022 scores, mirroring trends seen across the state. HCPSS scores were among the five top ranking Maryland school districts in all measures and ranked the highest among the five neighboring districts in every measure except Grade 10 ELA.

For 2023, ELA results for the elementary grades show 62.7% of students performing at levels 3–4 in Grade 3, 62.7% in Grade 4, and 55.2% in Grade 5, comparing favorably to 48.0%, 48.7% and 41.8% percent, respectively, for Maryland overall.

Middle school ELA results revealed similar trends, with 61.7% at levels 3–4 in Grade 6, 61.7% in Grade 7, and 60.3% in Grade 8. The comparable state results for these grades were 48.1%, 47.2%, and 46.8%.

Elementary mathematics scores showed 56.7% of students at levels 3–4 in Grade 3, 49.2% in Grade 4, and 43.5% in Grade 5, compared to 40.3%, 32.2%, and 27.4% for these grades across Maryland.

HCPSS middle school mathematics scores were 36.3%, 18.7%, and 13.7% on the Grades 6, 7 and 8 assessments respectively, all comparing favorably to scores reported statewide. However, meaningful comparisons for middle school grade specific math assessments cannot be made at the state level, because a large proportion of students begin advanced level mathematics in these grades, and course sequence practices vary widely among school systems.

At the high school course level, HCPSS students significantly outperformed their statewide peers. For Algebra I, 38.2% of Howard County students scored at levels 3–4, more than twice the state average of 17.2%. For the English 10 assessment, 64.2% achieved levels 3–4 at HCPSS, compared to 53.5% for the state.

The Maryland Comprehensive Assessment Program (MCAP) ELA and Math Results report presented to the Maryland State Board of Education can be viewed online on the Tuesday, August 22 Board Agenda Full MCAP results will be provided among the Data Downloads on the Maryland Report Card site,