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John Huber


Whatever happened to the results of MCAP from the Spring of 2022?

Whatever happened to the results of MCAP from the Spring of 2022?  For those who have forgotten, the MCAP is the Maryland Comprehensive Assessment Program.  It is Maryland’s standardized testing program that is implemented every Spring.  What was different in the Spring of 2022 is that it was the first assessment of any significance since the pandemic.

In the Spring of 2020, schools were shut down by State Superintendent Karen Salmon. The schools stayed closed and offered a variety of online and hybrid options for students.  Schools were given a waver for the Spring of 202 and there was no testing.  Schools stayed essentially shut down for in person learning for the majority of the 2020-2021 school year and thus were given another waver.

Schools began opening in the Fall of 2021 for the 2021-2022 school year.  In the Fall of 2021, the state administered a baseline assessment to assess any potential learning gaps from the lengthy shut down.  The results were not good and caused concern for the loss of learning from the COVID related closing.

Finally, in the Spring of 2022, a full battery of assessments was administered.  The results have not been made public.  Schools are now ready to open for the new school year and there has been no mention of the results.  This brings to question the usefulness of such testing programs.

The time delay between testing and reporting of results creates a huge issue for schools.  Perhaps the results can provide some insight in terms of direction for educators, but how does this help the individual child?

State high school assessments for English, Algebra, Science and Government were scheduled to move from stand-alone assessments that students must take and pass, to end of course assessments which count as 20% of the final grade beginning in 2022-2023.  Simply taking the assessment in 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 will meet the graduation requirement.

Maryland schools were required to include these ends of course exams that would comprise 20% of the final grade for the course; however, they were issued a waiver and, as of now, will initiate this requirement for the 2023-2024 school year.  For the 2022-2023 school year, students will meet the graduation assessment requirement by taking the requisite MCAP assessment after earning course credit for Algebra, English, Science, and Government.

Maryland State Department of Education has released a FAQ regarding assessment requirements for graduation.

In the middle and elementary schools, there is no accountability at all.  Students take the MCAP and never hear about it again. Some advanced students who take algebra 1 and other high school level courses will take the required end of course exams, but they are the only ones.

One of the real issues, though, is the lag time between testing and reporting.  It is now late August, and no one has heard a thing.  It brings to question how schools are preparing for the upcoming year.

Traditionally, schools would review the results over the summer and use this a guide to focus their efforts.  With no results to review, how will they put together their school improvement plans?  Every school is required to have a school improvement plan that lays out its focus.  That focus comes form the most recent and relevant data. What then do they base their plans on?

Of course, there is still the fall 2021 results that will provide some direction, but has it improved after a year of instruction, or has it worsened?  As I look around the internet, I find many improvement plans and other related documents dated 2019-2020 and 2020-2021. A few include the 2021-2022 school year, but none seem to have the most relevant data.

We all sit and wait!

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The MEN was founded by John Huber in the fall of 2020. It was founded to provide a platform for expert opinion and commentary on current issues that directly or indirectly affect education. All opinions are valued and accepted providing they are expressed in a professional manner. The Maryland Education Network consists of Blogs, Videos, and other interaction among the K-12 community.

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