Measuring academic progress, and publicly reporting each school’s performance are important parts of the Maryland School Performance Program.
In Maryland, academic progress is measured each year by administering the Maryland High School Assessments, (HSAs), the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), Maryland Integrated Science Assessment (MISA), the Alternate Maryland Integrated Science Assessment (ALT-MISA), and the Multi-state Alternative Assessment (MSAA)
Below are links for some useful documents that detail Maryland's assessments
General State Testing
PARCC - (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) - The 2016-2017 school year was the third year students in grades 3-8 and high school took the PARCC assessments in English Language Arts/Literacy and Mathematics.
PARCC helps teachers and parents determine if younger students are acquiring skills and knowledge needed to advance to the next grade level, while older students can see if they are on track to graduate, ready for college and careers.
The PARCC Difference - A comparison of an old assessment test items to a PARCC test items
Understanding the PARCC Score Report: A document provided by the Maryland State Department of Education that provides infrmation on how to interpret the PARCC Score Reports (New for 2017 Results)
2018 Score Reporting Guide for Parents: A more detailed guide to the Individual Score Reports provided by PARCC
Great Kids Test Guide for Parents - simple tool to understand your child's scores and learn how you can help at home
The Maryland Integrated Science Assessment is administered to all students in grades 5 and 8 in the spring. It is given at the highs schools at the end of selected science classes.
The test was first piloted in the 2016-17 school year for grades 5 and 8, when it replaced the former Maryland School Assessment (MSA) in science. During the pilot year, no results were shared with schools or parents. During the 2017-18 school year, parents will receive individual student results and summary data will be publicly reported.
The grade 5 and 8 tests are made up of four “units.” In each of the first three units, students will read information about three separate phenomena and answer questions about each. One of those questions will be a constructed response question, and the other questions will be a combination of multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank, matching, and other technology-enabled item types. Links to Practice Tests for MISA Grades 5 and 8 can be found at MISA 5 & 8 Practice Tests
Units 1 through 3 contain three tasks each, which are based on scientific phenomena. There is one constructed response question for each task along with five other types of questions. Unit 4 contains one task similar to those in units 1 to 3 as well as one extended task that may include a simulation.
The High School Maryland Integrated Science Assessment (HS MISA) is the final assessment in a series of science courses that a student will take aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards. The HS MISA will be field tested in the 2017-18 school year, as it replaces the HSA Biology assessment at the high school level. The HS MISA will be given in January and May of each school year and in the 2019-2020 school year it will also be given in the summer. The practice high school version of the MISA can be found at HS MISA Practice Tests
The assessment consists of five sessions. In each of the sessions, students will read information about two separate phenomena and respond to items about each. One of those items will be a constructed response item, and the other items will be a combination of selected response, fill-in-the-blank, matching, and other technology enhanced item types.
Each session will be administered for approximately 60 minutes. The assessment can be administered with a session given each day during a regular class period or multiple sessions can be administered in the same day. Each school system has the flexibility to administer it in a manner which will have the least amount of disruption to the school day.
Each session contains two item sets which are based on scientific phenomena, one constructed response item, and five other types of items.
Maryland’s Multi-State Alternate Assessment (MSAA)
MSAA is designed to assess skills in English Language Arts and Mathematics for student with significant cognitive disabilities in grades 3 through 8 and 11. This represents a very small number of students. The MSAA is based on alternate achievement standards which have been derived from and are aligned with the Maryland College and Career-Ready Standards (MCCRS). The overall goal of the MSAA is to make sure that all students achieve increasingly higher academic outcomes and leave high school ready for post-school options.
The MSAA is an online assessment of approximately 30 test items that assess ten prioritized content targets per grade level in English Language Arts and Mathematics. The assessment includes multiple choice items and constructed response items. Each content target is assessed by items that have been carefully and intentionally designed to assess a range of ability and performance.
Accommodations: All appropriate accommodations for an individual child are identified through the IEP team decision making process. Accommodations to be considered by the IEP team are determined by the national MSAA consortium states. In limited circumstances, a request for a unique accommodation may be made to your local school system.
Alternate Maryland Integrated Science Assessment (Alt-MISA)
Alt-MISA, also known as Dynamic Learning Maps (DLM), is designed for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities for whom the general education science assessment (MISA) is not appropriate, even with accommodations. The Alt-MISA is based on alternate achievement standards which have been derived from and are aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Students who take the Alt-MISA assessments are instructed and assessed on Essential Elements (EEs). EEs are grade-level- specific expectations about what students with the most significant cognitive disabilities should know and be able to do. Each science EE has three linkage levels which specify where a student is in relationship to the grade level target. The target linkage level is the highest, while the other two linkage levels (initial and precursor) are lower in complexity, depth, and breadth.
The Alt-MISA is an online, stage adaptive, assessment comprised of 9 “testlets” for each grade level assessed. Each testlet is completed in one setting, and consists of an engagement activity and three to five test items. Each testlets covers one EE. Each engagement activity is designed to motivate students, provide a context, and activate prior knowledge. All test items are in a multiple choice format.
Government High School Assessments (Government HSA) The Government High School Assessments (HSA) is an end-of-course test that covers core academic areas in the Government course. The test consists of both Selected Response (SR) and Constructed Response (CR) items. The CR items require students to write rather than select an appropriate response. Beginning in the 2017-18 school year, with the exception of certain accommodations, the test will be administered exclusively online. The Government HSA is one of the assessment requirements for Maryland high school graduation.
The HSA assesses The Maryland Core Learning Goals for Government. To learn more about these goals, visit
To view practice tests for the Government HSA Items, use this link: HSA Practice Tests
ACCESS for ELLs 2.0
ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 is a secure large-scale online English language proficiency assessment administered to 1st through 12th grade students who have been identified as English learners (ELs). It is given annually in the WIDA Consortium member states to monitor students’ progress in acquiring academic English.