Dear Dorchester County Community:
Last week, the Maryland State Department of Education released state and local data on the first administration of the new Maryland Comprehensive Assessment Program (MCAP) in April and May of 2022. This data details student proficiency from the 2021-2022 school year in the areas of English Language Arts (ELA) and math. Students at the elementary and middle school level in grades 3-8 and students enrolled in English 10, Algebra 1, Algebra 2, and Geometry participated in this assessment.
Following statewide assessment trends, Dorchester County students have returned to pre-pandemic proficiency in ELA in grades 3-5. On average, 27-30% of students in grades 3-5 are demonstrating proficiency. At the high school level, 43% of students showed proficiency on the English 10 assessment; this is just shy of pre-pandemic performance which was 45%. Middle school grades 6-8 have not seen the same rebound. On average, 24-30% of students at this level scored in the proficient range; this is a 4-5 percentage point decrease in grades 6 and 8 and a 19 percentage point decrease in grade 7.
Similar to Maryland math assessment data, Dorchester County has not returned to pre-pandemic proficiency in math. The percentage of students at the proficient level in 3rd grade was 20.3%; this percentage declines each grade level to approximately 5% proficient on the Algebra 1 assessment. Depending on the grade level, data shows a decrease of 2-15 percentage points in the number of students demonstrating proficiency from pre-pandemic performance.
Overall, the data tells us that we have a great deal of work to do. Central office and school staff will be delving into this data to help determine our next steps. We will be comparing state data to our local assessment data to identify which local assessments best align with state results and predict student performance. We will be putting structures in place to monitor the implementation of our programs that have been initiated over the past three years to determine if our delivery of the program needs adjusting or does the program not fit our needs. In addition, we will be looking at individual student data to determine the gaps in learning that are still present and what intervention materials and programs are needed and how to best provide those intervention services.
Our current Board of Education members have made student achievement a priority. They are committed to equitably supporting our students, staff and schools and want us to think outside the box about how to move our district forward; DCPS staff couldn’t agree more! This will take time, but with commitment, collaboration and a lot of hard work by everyone in our schools and communities, we will see our students achieve.
Dorchester County Public Schools