School Performance and Accountability

See the FCPS school report cards here.

In Frederick County, we empower all our students to receive an outstanding education. Part of that is measuring how well our public schools perform. That's important for our students, families, and teachers. That's what we mean when we talk about "accountability."

The federal government has helped set standards for school accountability since 1965. Those standards have evolved over time and have gone by many names. Today, federal accountability standards are called the Every Student Succeeds Act or ESSA. "ESSA...seeks to ensure every child, regardless of race, income, background, or where they live has the chance to make of their lives what they will." That's the promise of public education and it's a powerful goal for students in Frederick County.

Every state, including Maryland, creates its own plan to meet federal accountability standards. In creating our plan, Maryland worked with parents, community members, teachers, and others.

The accountability plan measures school and student performance in several ways; this is a big improvement over older accountability plans. 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 single school and measures all these factors. Based on these factors, the state gives each school a number score and a simple star rating (on a scale of 1 through 5 stars). These appear on a "report card" that the state puts out for each school.

This is to help make school performance indicators easier to understand. Report cards are available online at

The scores and star ratings help schools figure out exactly what areas to focus on to improve. And while scores and stars are helpful, in Frederick County, we know that every one of our schools provides students an outstanding education.

We want our entire school community - students, parents, teachers, and administrators - to understand the factors that help measure school performance, to ask questions, and to be empowered to work together to grow and improve over time.

We have included some additional resources below for review.