Maryland Report Card: Fewer Schools at Five-Star Status

Eighty-five schools received five stars during the 2022-23 school year.

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Although the majority of Maryland’s public schools experienced no change this year in the state Department of Education’s five-star rating system, there was a statewide decrease of schools to receive top-star status.

According to data released Dec. 13, 85 schools received five stars during the 2022-23 school year, compared to 215 schools from the 2021-22 school year.

One main reason for the difference stems from absenteeism, a measure in the rating system that wasn’t used two years ago because of chronic absenteeism related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new report cards also include an assessment of academic growth of elementary and middle school students and eighth-grade social studies scores from the Maryland Comprehensive Assessment Program (MCAP).

“This is a new baseline year for Maryland, in terms of where we are and where we want to be,” interim State Superintendent Carey Wright said in a statement. “Due to the difference in calculating results between the two school years, we cannot make perfect comparisons. However, we celebrate those districts and schools that showed success and we will continue to support those that faced challenges.”

This year’s report card shows 557 schools garnered a three-star rating, compared to 431 from two years ago. Schools with a four-star rating are nearly the same with 409 schools in the new report card, versus 413 from the 2021-22 academic year.

About 234 schools received a two-star rating, compared to 213 schools two years ago.

Twenty-five schools received a one-star rating, according to the new state data. Approximately 39 schools garnered a one-star rating two years ago.

Slightly more than 1,300 schools received between a one- to five-star rating based on a 100-point accountability system that awards each school up to five stars based on a formula that seeks to measure overall performance.

Schools that receive at least 75% of all possible points receive five stars.

Factors assessed in the report card system in elementary, middle and high schools include academic achievement, progress in achieving English language proficiency and school quality and student progress.

Academic progress is an additional measure for elementary and middle schools; graduation rate and readiness for postsecondary success are additional measures in high school.

The state began the star system in 2018 in response to the federal Every Student Succeeds Act. The state released a second report card in 2019, but star ratings weren’t issued in the 2019-20 and 2020-21 school years.

School system data

Montgomery County Public Schools, the state’s biggest school system, housed the most schools with five stars at 24. Three high schools received five stars: Poolesville, Walt Whitman and Thomas S. Wootton. The other five-star schools are all elementary schools.

Nineteen schools received a five-star status in Baltimore County, including Fifth District and Sparks elementaries and Hereford High.

Howard County had 12 schools that received a five-star status, including Centennial Lane and Worthington elementaries and River Hill High.

The state’s second-largest school system, Prince George’s County, had three schools with five stars: Glenarden Woods and Heather Hills elementaries and Academy of Health Sciences at Prince George’s Community College.

Prince George’s had 27 schools that received a four-star rating and had the highest number of schools with three stars at 107, according to state data.

Baltimore public schools recorded the highest number of schools with two stars at 50 and those with one star totaling 15.

The city did have two schools that received a five-star rating: Baltimore School for the Arts and Baltimore Polytechnic Institute.

“Our focus is on making transformational educational change for students,” state board President Clarence Crawford said in a statement. “While there are signs of progress and many successes to highlight, we must continue to focus on seeing real, improved outcomes for children.”

For more information on individual schools and other data, go to the Maryland Report Card.

Editor’s Note: Due to a technical error, this story was updated to correct references to schools that received five stars on the state report card, as well as the number of schools that received a four-star rating. 

This story was originally published in Maryland Matters.

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