MCPS Rolls Out New Data on Student Math, Reading Proficiency

Information demonstrates readiness gaps based on student demographics


Superintendent Jack Smith presented student learning data to school board members on Monday night.

Via Montgomery County Public School

A new system for evaluating learning in Montgomery County Public Schools has shown that in some grades, fewer than half of the black and Latino students or those receiving free or reduced-price meals meet math readiness targets.

Superintendent Jack Smith on Monday night rolled out the first round of data based on the assessment system that MCPS leaders have designed over the past year. Members of the Montgomery County Board of Education took a look at information for students in grades 2, 5, 8 and 11, who were evaluated for their readiness to transition into intermediate, middle or high school or to graduate.

The data, which dealt with proficiency in English language arts and math, indicated that more than three-quarters of students across all four grade levels achieved literacy readiness standards. Overall in math, more than half of these students reached the readiness targets. 

Smith drew attention to discrepancies affecting certain populations, such as black or African-American students, Latino students and students receiving free or reduced-price meals.

“This is a national, state and local problem,” he said. “It’s not a pretty picture. It’s not, but I have a lot of confidence that we can change that picture over the coming months and years as we really get targeted and thoughtful.”

Slides showing literacy and math readiness data for Montgomery County Public Schools students in 2016-2017. Credit: Montgomery County Public Schools.

Smith’s presentation drew on information from classwork, district-level testing and state assessments. Over the past year, MCPS has been crafting a new system for tracking student achievement and progress, one that taps into multiple performance measures rather than relying heavily on a single test.

Student board member Matt Post said many of his peers have voiced frustration about how their academic performance is evaluated.

“I hear anxiety about … being defined by a single number,” he said.

As they were creating the new system, officials determined there was an excess of testing in English language and some shortfalls in assessing math proficiency, Smith said.

MCPS leaders also had to adapt their assessment plan to a new state law, the More Learning, Less Testing Act of 2017. The legislation stipulates that mandated testing can’t take up more than 2.2 percent of a student’s classroom time.

Smith stressed that student data should only steer improvement rather than acting as a weapon.

“Data should never be used to beat anybody up,” he said.

He’ll show board members a second round of data in late September as additional assessment information is released. In February, he’ll round out the picture with the release of graduation rates for the 2016-2017 school year, he said.

Back to Bethesda Beat

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Articles

B-CC Students, Parents Hustle To Get Tickets To Sold-Out Homecoming Dance

Principal says growing school enrollment could require limiting guest attendance in future

Federal Judges Side with Rockville Officials in Case Over Thwarted Proposal for Self-Storage Facility

Suit faulted city for barring self-storage sites near public schools

Police Charge Rockville Man With Committing Sex Offenses Against Women He Met On Tinder

Case against MCPS guidance counselor does not involve any students or minors

Montgomery County Police Appoint a New Bethesda Commander

Capt. Paul Liquorie formerly headed the Special Investigations Division
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Sponsored Content

Wireless Telecommunication Community Meeting

Join Montgomery County on Monday, October 23, in Rockville to discuss proposed zoning changes to address deployment of microtowers and small cell antennas.

Interested in Learning More About the Democratic Candidates for County Executive?

Join The Greater Bethesda Chamber of Commerce and Bethesda Beat as we host a debate featuring the Democratic Candidates for County Executive on November 15. Click to get your free tickets.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »

New Construction

Potomac, $1,999,999

Remodeled Colonial

Potomac, $1,075,000

Classic Chevy Chase Colonial

Chevy Chase, $1,319,000

Stunning Updated Tudor

Bethesda, $1,529,000

Transformed Colonial

North Bethesda, $1,295,000
Edit Module


Your Guides to Leading
Local Professionals

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module

Edit Module