Achievement Remains High for MCPS on High School Assessments

October 5, 2010

  Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) students again scored at very high levels on the Maryland High School Assessments (HSA), with more than 94 percent meeting requirements by passing all four HSAs or earning a combined score of at least 1602.
   The HSAs are given in four core high school subjects--Algebra/Data Analysis, Biology, English and Government--and are intended to determine whether students have basic knowledge in those areas. In order to graduate, Maryland public school students must:
   - Pass all four HSAs, or
   - Score a combined 1602 on all four exams, or
   - Successfully complete a Bridge Plan for Academic Validation project, or
   - Be granted a waiver from the HSA requirement by the Maryland State Department of Education. 
   In 2010, 82 percent of MCPS students passed all four HSAs; 12.5 percent earned a combined score of 1602 on all four exams; five percent completed a Bridge Plan; and less than one percent received a waiver. These results are very similar to results from 2009. Learn more about the HSAs on the MCPS website

Adequate Yearly Progress

   The HSAs are also used to determine if Maryland high schools made Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) under the federal No Child Left Behind law. In order to make AYP, all students at a high school and any qualifying subgroup of students must meet state objectives in test participation, test performance and graduation rate. High Schools that do not make AYP for two consecutive years may be placed in "improvement" status (Learn more about AYP in Maryland).
   In 2010, there are no MCPS high schools or special programs in improvement status. One high school, Watkins Mill, and one special school, Stephen Knolls, made AYP for the second consecutive year and came out of improvement status.
   Fifteen of MCPS' 25 comprehensive high schools and four out of the district's five special schools made AYP in 2010. Eight of the 10 high schools that did not make AYP missed it based on the performance of just one subgroup of students. 

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