Three out of every four schools in Anne Arundel County earned three or more stars as part of the new Maryland Report Card accountability system, according to data released by the Maryland State Department of Education today.
As part of Maryland’s accountability system under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), schools and school systems across the state are now measured under the new metric. The Report Card uses incorporates several indicators of school performance and calculates them into a final score to arrive at a rating of one to five stars. While the specific indicators vary between the elementary, middle, and high school levels, a school’s score generally includes, attendance, access to and credit for a well-rounded curriculum, student growth on state assessments in English Language Arts and math, and the progress of English Language Learners.
Data from the 2017-2018 school year was used to calculate this year’s Report Card.
“This is a significant new tool for our county and our state to use in terms of measuring the performance of schools,” Superintendent George Arlotto said. “We, along with our schools, are eager to use this baseline data as another measure in the context of our Strategic Plan, which remains our guiding force to help every single student achieve his or her full potential.”
Five county schools – Severna Park High School; Central, Magothy River, and Severna Park middle schools; and Chesapeake Science Point – earned five-star ratings under the new system. Twenty-three schools earned four stars, and 57 earned three stars. All comprehensive county middle and high schools earned three or more stars.
The ratings for AACPS elementary schools reflect a score of 0 (out of 15 possible points) in the “Access to a Well-Rounded Curriculum” and “Credit for a Well-Round Curriculum” indicators. This is due to the fact that while quality instruction in these areas was provided, when the indicators were established in the middle of the 2017-2018 school year AACPS had no mechanism in place to track which specific fifth-graders experienced all of the Health standards in the different curriculums. Given the inconsistency of the data, Superintendent George Arlotto made the decision not to report any fifth-grade student as having met standards in these two categories. The situation was immediately addressed, and AACPS can now track all fifth-grade students and their access to the Health curriculum. Receiving those points on the Report Card, something that will happen at all elementary schools next year, will mean that almost every elementary school will earn an additional star. A projection of how that would have looked this year can be found here.
“To be clear, this is a data tracking issue and not an instructional issue,” Dr. Arlotto said. “The conundrum we faced was how to validate a set of separate health standards when, in our curriculum, they are integrated in a variety of content areas throughout a child’s instructional experience. That has been rectified and our schools will receive those points as we move forward.”
Schools Not Rated
Schools that do not meet the minimum requirements for accountability results to be reported were not rated as part of the Report Card. In Anne Arundel County, those schools are:
- Center of Applied Technology – North
- Center of Applied Technology – South
- Central Special School
- Ferndale Early Education Center
- Marley Glen School
- Mary Moss @ J. Albert Adams Academy
- Ruth Parker Eason School
- Studio 39
- West Meade Early Education Center