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Bernard C. "Jack" Young
Mayor, City of Baltimore

Linda Chinnia
Chair, Baltimore City Board of School Commissioners

Dr. Sonja Brookins Santelises
Chief Executive Officer

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More Baltimore City Public Schools Students are College- and Career-Ready

In schools across the city, City Schools continues to make progress toward meeting and exceeding expectations

(Baltimore, MD)— Baltimore City Public Schools students continue to make progress on MCAP, formally called PARCC, as seen in results released today by the Maryland State Department of Education. Students in every grade in English language arts and in most grades in math saw increases from last year in the number of students scoring a level 4 or 5. 

Particularly strong gains were seen in English language arts, especially in the middle grades. In 7th grade, students scoring a level 4 or 5 increased by 3.1 percentage points from last year, 3.1 percentage points in 8th grade, and 2.7 percentage points in 6th grade. Most student groups saw increases or remained relatively flat.  Additionally, 105 schools saw increases in the percentage of students scoring level 4 or 5 in English language arts, up from 90 schools last year. 

In math, though scores remained relatively flat, gains were seen in grades 3, 4, and 7 and in Algebra I. 

parcc data chart by grade

“We are clearly on the right track, and our schools are on the move” said City Schools CEO Sonja Brookins Santelises. “The progress we’re making to build the capacity of our schools to support students’ success is picking up speed, building momentum across the district. I feel it when I’m visiting schools, and we see it in these results. But we know that long term, our investment in curriculum and supporting schools will lead to even more progress for students in the future.”

Thirty-four schools across the city saw gains of 5 percentage points or more in English language Arts or math from last year, and eight schools saw double-digit increases in either English language arts or math over the previous year. 

parcc chart map

Students in grades 3 to 8 and in several grades in high school take PARCC in English language arts and math.  This year, students were not tested in Algebra 2 and English II.  City Schools students in grades 3 to 8 saw an increase of 2.2 percentage points in English Language arts, slightly outpacing the state’s gain of 2.0. percentage points.  In math, City Schools students in grades 3 to 8 remained relatively flat, while across the state, there was a 1.1 percentage decrease. In English language arts 10, City Schools students increased 2.2 percentage points, outpacing the state’s gain of .3 percentage points. In Algebra I, City Schools students remained relatively flat, with a .3 percentage point increase, compared to a decrease of 4 percentage points across the state. Overall, the percentage of City Schools students scoring at level 4 or 5 continues to lag the state.

“Schools with some of the biggest increases year over year are in some of our most historically under-served and under-resourced neighborhoods,” said Dr. Santelises. “The work we’re doing is focused on making sure every school is accelerating growth for every student.”

As part of the district’s strategic plan, Blueprint for Success, City Schools identified schools as intensive learning site to receive additional resources in literacy and key components of student wholeness. In the 2018-19 school year, 20 literacy coaches served as on-site experts on the curriculum to provide direct support to teacher teams. We’re adding 20 more literacy coaches for the 2019-20 school year. Additionally, two years ago, City Schools implemented a new English language arts curriculum, and a new math curriculum last year. Through ongoing professional development, teachers practice new skills with peers before they teach their students and dig deeper into data to help make decisions about how best to support students. 

Baltimore City Public Schools serves close to 80,000 students in 172 schools and programs. For more about the district’s blueprint for success, visit www.baltimorecityschools.org/blueprint. Please visit Baltimore City Public Schools’ website for additional MCAP data.

parcc school chart