Harford County Schools Outperforms State Averages In Latest MCAP Assessments


The MCAP assessments gauge students' grasp of English/Language Arts, mathematics, and science at grade-level standards. (Image Credit: Shutterstock)

HARFORD COUNTY - Harford County's recently released results for the 2022-2023 Maryland Comprehensive Assessment Program (MCAP) show encouraging advancements in student performance.

The MCAP assessments gauge students' grasp of English/Language Arts, mathematics, and science at grade-level standards. Harford County Public Schools (HCPS) outperformed state averages in nearly every subject, indicating that the district's educational initiatives and teaching methodologies positively impacted student performance.

The standout area for HCPS was English/Language Arts, where the district increased its ranking from tenth to ninth place among all Maryland public school districts. In grades three through five, over half of the students (55.1%) scored as proficient in English/Language Arts, exceeding the state's rate of 46.2%.

HCPS also achieved ninth place in the mathematics rankings, with 40.3% of the district's third to fifth graders testing as proficient in mathematics, compared to the state's 33.3% proficiency rate.

Additionally, the district celebrated significant improvements in middle school English/Language Arts, where proficiency rose from 45.5% in 2022 to 54% in 2023, beating the state average of 47.4%.

Harford County students demonstrated above-average performance in Algebra I, Maryland's most challenging subject, in the 2022-2023 school year. Middle and high school students rose from 14.1% to 17.7% proficiency in Algebra I - slightly above the Maryland state average of 17.2%.

In science assessments for fifth graders, performance surged from 33.5% in 2022 to 40.4% in 2023. However, this increase was accompanied by a dip in eighth-grade science scores, aligning with a statewide decline in this area.

"We are pleased to witness the progress reflected in this year's MCAP results. Our students and educators have demonstrated unwavering dedication, and these outcomes validate their hard work. At the same time, while it's encouraging to see growth in nearly all areas, we cannot afford to be satisfied while we still have many students not meeting expectations," Superintendent Sean Bulson said. "We will continue to review the data closely and will rely on the success of the schools who showed the greatest gains in achievement this year to expand those gains throughout the entire school system."

Harford County Public Schools has cautioned against directly comparing past years' scores due to recent changes in MCAP's testing format. Students assessed last year will receive their individual scores during the week of October 9th, accompanied by a guide for parents to interpret the results.

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