Measuring School Performance for Early Elementary Grades in Maryland

Measuring School Performance for Early Elementary Grades in Maryland

Published: Dec 30, 2019
Publisher: Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education, Evaluation, and Regional Assistance, Regional Educational Laboratory Mid-Atlantic

Cassandra Baxter

Dallas Dotter

Key Findings
  • A K–3 school-level growth measure was estimated and examined. The study identified some concerns about its validity and precision that suggest it should be used for accountability with caution.
  • The overall Kindergarten Readiness Assessment score performs about as well in predicting grade 3 achievement as combinations of kindergarten readiness subscores.
  • Schools’ K–3 growth estimates are likely less valid than schools’ grade 3–4 growth estimates but have a similar level of precision.
  • Schools’ K–3 growth estimates are much less precise for smaller schools than for larger schools.
  • Administering the Kindergarten Readiness Assessment to a subset of students in each classroom (as opposed to all students) greatly reduces the precision of schools’ K–3 growth estimates.

The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) has a critical need to better understand its schools’ contributions to student learning in the early elementary grades as a part of its accountability system under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The early grades lay an important foundation for students’ future academic success. Yet, as is the case for nearly every state, MSDE lacks a measure of how well its schools are supporting the academic growth of its youngest students, from kindergarten to grade 3.

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