Statement from Montgomery County Public Schools on MSDE State Bridge Project Investigation

January 22, 2020

You may have seen media coverage about an investigation by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) about how Montgomery County Public Schools supports high school students’ learning through Bridge Projects.  Bridge Projects are State-approved learning experiences that help ensure all students have a fair opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and skills if traditional assessments are not effective measures for them. While the investigation is ongoing, I am writing to let you know that MSDE has already shared with us that: 

  • The allegations were reported and promptly investigated by the school in the spring of 2019;
  • MCPS did not violate the re-teaching protocols from the MSDE Administrative Manual;
  • MCPS provided an approved and appropriate scaffolding technique for English Language Learners;
  • Providing an aide for a student with an English Language Learner accommodation for language is an appropriate accommodation, though the aide should have been a teacher aide and not a student; and
  • The teacher who reported the allegations failed to properly protect student privacy.

While we are pleased to see that the allegation of cheating was unsubstantiated, MSDE does identify areas for continued improvements in Bridge Project administration training.

We are committed to ensuring that teaching and learning, and assessments related to learning, continue to be done with the highest level of integrity.

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