Interim State Superintendent Jack Smith, upper right, talks to state Board of Education Tuesday about new test scores. Photo by Melody Simmons,

Majority of high school students didn’t pass new standardized tests

A majority of Maryland high school students who took the state’s first Common Core standardized assessment exams last spring did not meet standards for 10th grade English and about 70% didn’t meet the bar for Algebra I, state education leaders learned Tuesday. Few minority students met the new standards.

Baltimore students carry guns

As U.S. schools grow safer, Baltimore schools remain dangerous

Schoolyard scuffles and fights amongst angsty teens are common in America's public schools. In recent years, national anti-violence campaigns have helped reduce school violence. But Baltimore City schools, which have also improved on some measures in recent years, are generally more dangerous for students than schools in the rest of the nation. Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2005 and 2013 Youth Risk Behavior Survey.

Photo by biologycorner with Flickr Creative Commons License

PARCC results to serve as new baseline, will allow individual and itemized assessment

Officials from the Maryland State Department of Education told lawmakers they are expecting the results of the new PARCC exam to serve as a new baseline for assessing student performance, and itemized results will show individual students’ areas of deficiency. In a presentation Wednesday to a joint meeting of education subcommittees from both the Maryland House and Senate, the state Department of Education outlined its expectations for the test results and areas of improvement for coming years of testing.

Maryland State Board of Education

State school board to release new PARCC exam results in late fall with lower scores expected

Maryland's State Board of Education on Tuesday confirmed plans to release PARCC assessment scores in late October and early December. The PARCC, which stands for the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, was administered for the first time in 11 states and the District of Columbia in the spring as a part of the Common Core Standards Initiative, a widespread but controversial effort to measure education in the United States.

At a town hall meeting on standardized testing, Del. Eric Ebersole speaks to the audience.

Testing chipping away at teaching, educators say

Standardized testing is chipping away at “so many layers” of a public school classroom these days, a panel of educators said during a town hall meeting -- taking away from teacher autonomy to curriculum and even technology hubs placed in schools to help students learn and connect to a high-tech world.

Comptroller Peter Franchot

Franchot flips out over standardized testing contract

Gov. Hogan said, "I share a lot of concerns that the comptroller has with respect to Pearson, PARCC, and over-testing. We still think we're over-tested." Hogan noted that he had signed into a law a commission to study and make recommendations about the amount of testing in public schools. "Everything [Franchot] said, I agree with," Hogan said. But "if we don't do it, it could be worse."

Laptop computer by mmole on Flickr

Md. savings on new standardized school tests are questioned

This fall, as Maryland schools enter a third year using the Common Core curriculum, state education leaders are touting a trend toward big savings on annual testing. But out in the field, some in local districts say they are not so sure about the thrift.

State Roundup, August 19, 2015

Gov. Larry Hogan’s push to reform the state’s redistricting process has turned the usual politics upside down; Hogan announces he’s 95% cancer free; farm uses Hogan image for American Cancer Society corn maze fund-raiser; as state formally cancels Red Line with feds, advocates say administration not complying with public records law; health insurance marketplace rolls rise 39%; Frederick County repeals English-only law; and who else will run for mayor of Baltimore City?

Maryland State Board of Education

New PARCC tests of Common Core standards saving money

A new Maryland commission to study over-testing of children in public schools has yet to begin work, but new standardized tests based on the Common Core curriculum standards are already saving the state money, and four out of five Maryland students who took the tests did them online.