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City Schools’ recovery plan offers reset following latest state school accountability ratings

BALTIMORE – Baltimore City Public Schools (City Schools) post-pandemic recovery plan offers a pathway for improvement following the Maryland State Department of Education’s (MSDE) release of the Maryland Report Card ratings, which place school performance on a scale of one to five stars.

More than half of the 147 schools rated in 2019 (the most recent year for ratings) and 2022 did not experience a change in their ratings. Fifty-six schools received a lower rating than three years ago.

NOTE: Families seeking information about the school's results should contact their principal. Additional information is available on our Data webpage.

City Schools’ recovery plan - Reconnect, Restore, Reimagine – focuses on many areas that align with the accountability results: growth in achievement, high school graduation rates, student access to a well-rounded curriculum, progress in achieving English language proficiency, the prevalence of chronic absenteeism and student and teacher perceptions of the school environment.

Previous achievement updates from City Schools – including the Maryland Comprehensive Assessment Program (MCAP) and National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) results outline a series of steps City Schools is taking to raise achievement for all students. Action steps include:

  • Since the 2021-22 school year, City Schools has invested more than $20 million in high-dosage tutoring as a critical academic recovery strategy.
  • The district has expanded professional development for teachers with a focus on mathematics - similar to what we have already committed to in literacy. 
  • We have initiated an extended learning period at the end of the day, at all schools, for prioritized students with unfinished learning.
  • A literacy project funded by The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that focuses on teacher-led efforts to closing gaps in literacy for middle school students is also paying dividends.  

The recent 2022 results are different from the improvement demonstrated by City Schools in the school years preceding the COVID pandemic. As recently as the 2018-2019 school year, City Schools reduced the number of schools that earned one star while increasing the number of schools that earned 3 stars.

“The Maryland School Report Card and Star ratings provide clarity for our schools related to state accountability and a clearer understanding of how our recovery strategies are impacting learning and achievement,” said Sonja Brookins Santelises, City Schools’ chief executive officer. “While the immediate results are not surprising, we strongly believe that we have strategies that, over time, will lead to enhanced student achievement.”

The annual Maryland Report Card, released on March 9 by MSDE, includes a star rating for each school. Schools earn from one to five stars yearly based on measures of performance that fall into the Academic and School Quality & Student Success categories.

The number of City Schools by star rating include:

  • 1 school scored five stars (1%)
  • 10 schools scored four stars (7%)
  • 26 schools scored three stars (17%)
  • 83 schools scored two stars (56%)
  • 29 schools scored one star (19%)

City Schools is home to 164 schools and programs. Some schools do not receive ratings because of their specialized nature (e.g., separate public day schools that serve students with disabilities) or because they have insufficient data in certain categories.