- The most promising portion of the state’s plan is Maryland’s commitment to high standards and assessments—and as important, its consistency over time to the same standards and assessments. This continuity provides the state’s accountability system with a strong foundation that can be leveraged by all players to ensure students graduate prepared to succeed after high school.
- Maryland’s exit criteria for comprehensive support schools are also commendable for requiring schools to reach and maintain objective targets before exiting.
- Maryland’s system of indicators is unwieldy and includes measures unlikely to differentiate among schools; this will likely dilute the impact of stronger, more meaningful indicators in the overall system. This challenge is exacerbated by the state’s proposed weighting system, which underweights the stronger academic elements.
- The system fails to emphasize the performance of subgroups in the calculation of summative accountability scores, potentially obscuring uneven outcomes for some groups of students. While the plan refers to the potential for including some measure of the “Equity Gap” in the future, the measure is vaguely defined.
- While the supports for low-performing schools described by the state include some promising language, the plan lacks a coherent system of support. It fails to instill urgency around prescribing rigorous, transformative strategies likely to turn around schools and districts or to provide high-quality options to students as quickly as possible. Most importantly, the plan fails to articulate serious consequences for persistent low performance.