School Improvement in Maryland

How do I support my child in being successful on the Maryland School Assessments?

Over thirty years of research show that early and active involvement by a parent throughout their child's education—helping with homework, talking about school, attending school activities—is the most powerful influence and has benefits that reach far beyond a student's preK-12 years. Parent interest in supporting their child's success on state assessments gives students a huge advantage.

Parent interest in supporting their child's success on state assessments is a huge advantage. State tests assess the Maryland Content Standards that describe what students are expected to know and be able to do and teachers are expected to teach these standards at the appropriate grade level or course. Assessment items on the state assessments should be an extension of classroom instruction and assessments. Consequently, the best way to support your child in being successful on state assessments is to support their active engagement in core classes and monitor their progress in those classes. This would include asking your child what he/she was learning; showing an interest in class work, homework, and test results; and talking to the teacher whenever you need more information about your child's mastery of the content standards. Though report card grades will be useful information in assessing how well your child performed in that class, you would not want to wait until a nine week quarter had been completed to find out if your child was struggling and needed help in any area.

MSA Item of the Week

Use the Item of the Week questions as a fun nightly or weekly test.

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How can my child review for the assessment?

Teachers will be reviewing with students as part of their regular instructional program. If you would like to work with your child to ensure he/she understands the standards they are expected to know, you might find the following resources helpful:

Use the public release items as practice tests.

Use the online MSA tests for science developed by the Pearson Educational Measurement Solution 2012 Practice Assessment Tools.

Monitoring Reports

Students can keep a record of their progress on these assessment items by using the Monitoring Report, a tool that lists the grade level objectives assessed on MSA. The Monitoring Report contains space for entering multiple assessment results and diagnostic comments.

Monitoring Report for Reading Grade 3  •  4  •  5  •  6  •  7  •  8