Introduction

The Maryland School Assessment is an annual assessment program that tests grades 3 through 8 in reading and mathematics. Two tests are also required at the high school level to measure reading and mathematics. The MSA results are used in the calculation of whether a school met the AMO target. Science scores are represented for grades 5 and 8 and the high school level but are not a part of School Progress. Beginning in the 2012-2013 school year the Mod-MSA was discontinued and those students are taking the MSA.

The MSA test produces a score that describes how well a student masters the reading, math, and science content specified in the Maryland Content Standards. Each child will receive a score in each content area that will categorize their performance as basic, proficient, or advanced.

Definitions

Maryland School Assessment (MSA)

The Maryland School Assessment (MSA) requires students in grades 3 through 8 to demonstrate what they know about reading, math, and science. The MSA test measures basic as well as higher level skills. For 2009, the performance results for MSA include both MSA and MOD-MSA students for grades 6-8.

The MSA test produces a score that describes how well a student masters the reading, math, and science content specified in the Maryland Content Standards. Each child will receive a score in each content area that will categorize their performance as basic, proficient, or advanced.

This test, which has replaced the Maryland School Performance Assessment Program (MSPAP), provides educators, parents, and the public valuable information about student, school, school system, and state performance.

Additional information may be found on the School Improvement in Maryland Web site at http://www.mdk12.org and the Maryland State Department of Education Web site at http://www.marylandpublicschools.org.

Scale Score

The scale score is the measurement of a student's performance relative to different performance levels that have been identified by the state. These performance levels for MSA, MOD-MSA, and ALT-MSA are basic, proficient, and advanced. The scale score data is reported at the school, system, and state level as well as student level.

MSA scale scores range from 240 to 650. The scale scores for MSA reading, mathematics, and science are listed below by grade:

MSA Reading Scale Scores
  Scale Score for Proficient Scale Score for Advanced
Grade 3 388 456
Grade 4 371 437
Grade 5 384 425
Grade 6 381 421
Grade 7 385 425
Grade 8 391 425
English 396 429

 

MSA Mathematics Scale Scores
  Scale Score for Proficient Scale Score for Advanced
Grade 3 379 441
Grade 4 374 433
Grade 5 392 453
Grade 6 396 447
Grade 7 396 451
Grade 8 407 444
Algebra 412 450

 

MSA Science Scale Scores
  Scale Score for Proficient Scale Score for Advanced
Grade 5 391 467
Grade 8 387 478
Biology 400 452

Beginning in the 2012-2013 school year the Mod-MSA was discontinued and those students are taking the MSA. MOD-MSA scale scores are not the same scores that are used to determine proficiency on the regular MSA in reading and mathematics for Grades 3 through 8. The MOD-MSA assesses the same content as the regular MSA but was designed with test items that are less complex and more accessible for a student with disabilities. Therefore, the modified assessments are different tests with separate standards and a different scale.

MOD-MSA scale scores range from 2 to 98. The scale scores for MOD-MSA reading and mathematics are listed below by grade:

MOD-MSA Reading Scale Scores
  Scale Score for Proficient Scale Score for Advanced
Grade 3 54 64
Grade 4 53 65
Grade 5 53 69
Grade 6 54 67
Grade 7 56 72
Grade 8 54 66

 

MOD-MSA Mathematics Scale Scores
  Scale Score for Proficient Scale Score for Advanced
Grade 3 54 66
Grade 4 53 67
Grade 5 54 70
Grade 6 56 69
Grade 7 54 71
Grade 8 60 73

The scale scores for ALT-MSA reading, mathematics and science are listed below by grade:


ALT-MSA Reading and Mathmatics Scale Scores
  Percent of Objectives Mastered Proficient Percent of Objectives Mastered Advanced
Grade 3 60 90
Grade 4 60 90
Grade 5 60 90
Grade 6 60 90
Grade 7 60 90
Grade 8 60 90
Grade 10 60 90

 

ALT-MSA Science Scale Scores
  Percent of Objectives Mastered Proficient Percent of Objectives Mastered Advanced
Grade 5 60 90
Grade 8 60 90
Grade 10 60 90

Additional information may be found on the School Improvement in Maryland Web site at http://www.mdk12.org and the Maryland State Department of Education Web site at http://www.marylandpublicschools.org.

Performance Level Standards for MSA

Standards are measures of performance against which yearly results are compared. Standards help to examine critical aspects of instructional programs; help to ensure that all students receive quality instruction; hold educators accountable for quality instruction; and help to guide efforts toward school improvement.

Maryland School Performance Program (MSPP) performance standards were determined through deliberative processes by educators with involvement of critical stakeholders such as the legislators and members of the business community. The State Board of Education adopted all standards.

The purpose of the MSPP standards is to:

  • provide statewide equity and quality assurance in terms of student outcomes;
  • establish a mechanism for instructional accountability useful to schools, school systems, and the state;
  • stimulate self-examination and appropriate action by local district staff and the Maryland State Department of Education; and
  • set improvement expectations that guide school and school system objectives, decision, and efforts.

Maryland MSA standards are divided into three levels of achievement:

  • Advanced is a highly challenging and exemplary level of achievement indicating outstanding accomplishment in meeting the needs of students.
  • Proficient is a realistic and rigorous level of achievement indicating proficiency in meeting the needs of students.
  • Basic is a level of achievement indicating that more work is needed to attain proficiency in meeting the needs of students.

MSA Performance Level Descriptors

Reading 345678
English
Mathematics 345678
Algebra / Data Analysis
Science 58
Biology

Other Performance Level Standards

Performance Level Standards for ALT-MSA
Performance Level Standards for MOD-MSA

Standards for the MFTs, Attendance Rate, and Dropout Rate were adopted in 1990.

Additional information may be found on the School Improvement in Maryland Web site at http://www.mdk12.org and the Maryland State Department of Education Web site at http://www.marylandpublicschools.org.

Special Services: Special Education Program Participants

The number and percentage of special education program participants - students with disabilities who have current Individualized Education Plans (IEPs). The counts are reported as of the student's last dayof enrollment in the school system - either the last day in school or the date the student withdrew. The percentage is calculated by dividing the number of special education students by the June net enrollment.

Reported since November 1990: System and State levels.
Reported since November 1991: School level.

Additional information may be found on the School Improvement in Maryland Web site at http://www.mdk12.org and the Maryland State Department of Education Web site at http://www.marylandpublicschools.org.

Special Services: LEP Program Participants

The number and percentage of students assessed as eligible for the Limited English Proficient (LEP) Program. LEP is also referred to as English as a Second Language (ESL).

LEP students have a primary or home language other than English and have been assessed as having limited or no ability to understand, speak, read, or write English. The counts are reported as of the student's last day of enrollment in the school system - either the last day in school or the date the student withdrew. The percentage is calculated by dividing the number of LEP students by the June net enrollment.

Reported since November 1990: System and State levels.
Reported since November 1991: School level.

LEP Exempt

Limited English Proficient students, during their first year of enrollment in U.S. schools, have the option of taking or not taking (exempt from) the state reading assessment. LEP students also have the option of taking or not taking (exempt from) the state mathematics assessment with accommodations as appropriate. States can but are not required to include these results in Adequate Yearly Progress. Students would be counted as participants for Adequate Yearly Progress purposes for the 95 percent testing requirement.

Redesignated Limited English Proficient (R-LEP)

These are students that exit the LEP subgroup once they attain English language proficiency. For Adequate Yearly Progress calculations, states have two years to include in the LEP subgroup students who have attained English proficiency.

Additional information may be found on the School Improvement in Maryland Web site at http://www.mdk12.org and the Maryland State Department of Education Web site at http://www.marylandpublicschools.org.

Code 504 Students

Code 504 students are students who have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, have a record of such an impairment, or are regarded as having such an impairment. In grades where state mandated testing occurs, Code 504 students are counted as exempt if their accommodation invalidates portions of the test.

Additional information may be found on the School Improvement in Maryland Web site at http://www.mdk12.org and the Maryland State Department of Education Web site at http://www.marylandpublicschools.org.

Special Services: Free/Reduced Price Meals

The number and percentage of students whose applications for free/reduced price meals meet the family size and income guidelines (as promulgated annually by the U.S. Department of Agriculture) and students approved through direct certification. The counts are reported as of the student's last day of enrollment in the school system - either the last day in school or the date the student withdrew. The percentage is calculated by dividing the number of students receiving free or reduced price meals by the June net enrollment.

Reported since November 1990: System and State levels.
Reported since November 1991: School level.

Additional information may be found on the School Improvement in Maryland Web site at http://www.mdk12.org and the Maryland State Department of Education Web site at http://www.marylandpublicschools.org.

Special Services: Title I Program Participants

The number and percentage of students receiving Title I services of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) (the Hawkins-Stafford Amendments of 1988). In schools with targeted assistance programs, only students receiving Title I services are counted. In schools with school wide programs, all students enrolled are counted. Students enrolled in any school receiving only State Compensatory Education (SCE) funding are not included in this count. The counts are reported as of the student's last day of enrollment in the school system - either the last day in school or the date the student withdrew. The percentage is calculated by dividing the number of Title I students by the June net enrollment.

Reported since November 1990: System and State levels.
Reported since November 1991: School level.

Additional information may be found on the School Improvement in Maryland Web site at http://www.mdk12.org and the Maryland State Department of Education Web site at http://www.marylandpublicschools.org.

Migrant Students

Migrant students are students whose parents or guardians are migratory agricultural workers (including dairy and fishing workers) and who, in the preceding 36 months, have moved from one school district to another to accompany their parents or guardians. Maryland does not have a large enough migrant student population to report meaningful assessment results.

Additional information may be found on the School Improvement in Maryland Web site at http://www.mdk12.org and the Maryland State Department of Education Web site at http://www.marylandpublicschools.org.

PARCC

In 2014 most Maryland public schools had some students who participated in MSA and some students who participated in the PARCC field test. PARCC performance data is not reported because test items are being field tested. Therefore, reading and/or mathematics proficiency data is not reported in the grades for those schools that field tested in those contents. The participation rate data is reported for both MSA and for PARCC on School Progress.

The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) is a consortium of 12 states plus the District of Columbia working together to develop a common set of K-12 assessments in English and math anchored in what it takes to be ready for college and careers. These new K-12 assessments will build a pathway to college and career readiness by the end of high school, mark students’ progress toward this goal from 3rd grade up, and provide teachers with timely information to inform instruction and provide student support. The PARCC assessments will be ready for states to administer during the 2014-15 school year.

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