Frederick County Public Schools received new Maryland School Report Cards today and posted a link to them online at www.fcps.org/performance.
“In Frederick County, we work to empower all our students to receive an outstanding education,” says Superintendent Dr. Terry Alban. “Part of that involves measuring how well our schools perform.”
The new state report cards show that Frederick County’s public schools perform extremely well. Most earned four or five stars, on a scale of one to five, and none earned fewer than three stars.
“Most importantly for growth, the report cards identify areas that every school can use to continue to improve. While we can be proud of the performance of every single school in Frederick County, we’re always seeking ways to do better,” notes Dr. Alban. “That’s part of what makes FCPS an exceptional school system.”
Maryland designed the new report cards to meet federal requirements that help set standards for school accountability. The standards, which have evolved over time, have gone by many names since 1965. Today, federal accountability standards for schools are legislated in the Every Student Succeeds Act, or ESSA.
"ESSA seeks to ensure that every child, regardless of race, income, background, or where they live has the chance to make of their lives what they will," says Alban. “That's the promise of public education, and it's a powerful goal for our schools in Frederick County.”
Responding to ESSA, every state, including Maryland, creates its own plan to meet the federal standards. In creating our plan, Maryland worked with parents, community members, teachers, and others. The new accountability plan measures school and student performance in multiple ways.
“This is a big improvement over older accountability plans,” Alban says. “While test scores are one important measure in the plan, there are others, like access to a great curriculum, rates of chronic absenteeism, school climate, college and career readiness, and student growth over time.”
The state looks at every school and measures all these factors. Then the state assigns the number score and simple star rating shown on each school’s "report card." The goal is to help make school-performance indicators easier to understand and to help schools determine what areas to focus on to improve.