Md. School Assessment Results Show Decline

Md. School Assessment Results Show Decline

According to the latest Maryland School Assessment results, most school districts, including Washington County Public Schools, have received lower performance scores in most areas this year.

HAGERSTOWNMD- According to the latest Maryland School Assessment results, most school districts, including Washington County Public Schools, have received lower performance scores in most areas this year.

"I think in the statewide averages, there was about a six percent decline in scores, we find ourselves in about that same area, four or five percent in most areas, a decline," said Wash. Co. Public Schools Superintendent Clayton Wilcox.

Wilcox says Maryland's switch to the new Common Core Curriculum is a main reason for the decline in student performance.

"I think that's always the case when you move to number one, a new curriculum, number two, a new assessment series. And what most people are forgetting are what tremendous pressure our teachers are facing right now because of our new assessment system," said Wilcox.

Most teachers in Washington County and across the state have already begun to teach the new Common Core Curriculum, even though students are still being tested with the old MSA assessments. Therefore, many are stressing that the decline in scores does not necessarily mean schools and students are doing poorly.

"Your kids aren't getting worse; they were just measured by an imprecise system that really was a blunt instrument to begin with. We do something internally called the map assessments, which are an augmented testing system that we do three times a year. I would say to parents...Don't pay as much attention to the state scores that are released, but pay attention to the map scores that are coming home," said Wilcox.

Wilcox says scores will hopefully improve in the next two to three years once the transition to new curriculum standards and teaching benchmarks is complete

The updated benchmark test, PARCC assessments, is scheduled for full implementation in the 2014-2015 school year. These tests, officials say, align with the new common core curriculum.

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