(The Center Square) — After months of research, studies and stakeholder input, the Maryland State Board of Education voted to adopt a new College and Career Readiness standard it hopes will integrate smoothly into its reworked education model and accurately predict college and career success.
Joshua Michael, vice president of the board, expressed confidence in the board’s decision.
“This policy has traversed partnerships with stakeholders, a significant engagement with the American Institutes for Research. It has navigated a leadership transition here at the department,” Michael said, adding that the policy is “the first of its kind in the country, as we understand it.”
The board was working to select a more appropriate standard that would capture most (ideally, all) college- and career-ready students, as many students did not meet the current interim standard that went on to be successful in their pursuits.
The standard the board voted to adopt would incorporate and add to the interim standard, giving students multiple ways of meeting the English and math requirements. Students who score proficient or above on the English 10 and Algebra I Maryland Comprehensive Assessment Program will meet the standard, but 10th-grade students with a 3.0 high school GPA who earn at least a C in Algebra I or earn a proficient score on the Algebra I MCAP will also meet the standard.
“This is one of the most high profile standards we have set that is in the frame of multiple measures… We can both set standards and ensure equitable access for students. A multiple measures approach… serves as a model for us to ensure both excellence and equity in access,” Michael said.
Now, it’s all about implementation, and the Maryland State Department of Education is hitting the ground running.
Administrators will use the High School Data Collection system to record data from this school year on students meeting the new standard, with per-pupil funding amounts based on the new standard starting in fiscal year 2026. The new standard will be effective in the 2024-25 school year.
Deann Collins, deputy state superintendent for teaching and learning, assured the board and others that the department will be actively involved in implementing the new standard, alongside schools and personnel.
“We’re gonna be busy here at MSDE. It’s gonna be all hands on deck,” Collins said. “We are committed to studying, monitoring, determining what’s working, what are the implementation supports our local education agencies need, what does our community need, what do our families need and what our engagement plan is around communication… It’s really important that we don’t just say, ‘Here you go, here’s the standard, we’re moving forward.’”