Practice Activity: Understanding Your Target
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Understand state standards for schools and students

. Content Standards for Students: What Students Should Know and Be Able to Do

The Maryland Content Standards identify what students in Maryland are expected to know and be able to do. Maryland also developed a State Curriculum that embedded all of the content standards. A toolkit of resources aligned to the voluntary state curriculum is also available online. MSA and HSA assesses student performance in grades 3 through 8 on mathematics and reading content standard indicators. High school students are assessed on selected content standard indicators that they call Core Learning Goals at the completion of four courses: English, Algebra/Data Analysis, Biology, and Government.

As a principal or school leader, you need to be comfortable explaining to staff, parents, or other stakeholders how to read them. You need to be able to explain both the content domain of the content standard (the what they are to know) as well as the cognitive domain the standard (the what they are expected to do with what they know). You may also find the Toolkit useful in helping you understand and explain the intent of the indicators and objectives and how the state assesses them.

You can view the:

Performance Standards for Schools

Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) is the method by which Maryland tracks academic progress and makes accountability decisions. To be in compliance with NCLB, schools, school systems, and the state must show that students are making AYP in reading, math, and another measure. In elementary and middle schools, the additional measure is attendance. In high schools, it is graduation rate. In addition to student achievement in the aggregate, AYP must be made among eight subgroups of students: five racial/ethnic groups (African American, American Indian, Asian/Pacific Islander, Hispanic, White), as well as students with limited English proficiency, students receiving special education services, and economically disadvantaged students.

In general the performance standards for your school include the following:

  • Student performance on state reading assessment is not significantly less than the state set Annual Measurable Objective (AMO).
  • Student performance on the state math assessment is not significantly less than the state set Annual Measurable Objective (AMO).
  • Student participation on the state reading assessment is at least 95%.
  • Student participation on the state math assessment is at least 95%.
  • School attendance rate is not significantly less than 94%.

How did Maryland determine what was proficient performance?

A large number of educators and stakeholders were involved in setting standards through a structured process described by Gary Heath, at the time Assistant Superintendent of Planning, Results, and Information Management in these audio - visual presentations.

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