Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) students’ performance in English language arts and mathematics achievement continue to follow trends observed in recent years, as reflected in 2019 Maryland Comprehensive Assessment Program (MCAP) scores released by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE).

In general, HCPSS 2019 scores for students overall showed improvements for English language arts (ELA) and slight declines for mathematics compared to 2018 scores, mirroring trends seen across the state. HCPSS scores were among the five top ranking Maryland school districts in all measures, and ranked the highest among the five neighboring districts in every measure except Grade 7 mathematics.

HCPSS overall ELA results for all grade 3-8 were among the highest compared to other state districts, with 58.4 percent of students scoring at levels 4-5, up 2.1 percentage points from the previous year. For Grade 10 ELA, 65.7 percent of students scored at levels 4-5, an increase of 4.8 percentage points from 2018, and again among the highest performing state districts.

The 2019 ELA results for the elementary grades show 55.6 percent of students performing at levels 4-5 in Grade 3, 56.6 percent in Grade 4, and 59.1 percent in Grade 5, comparing favorably to 41.2 percent, 43.6 percent and 43.9 percent, respectively, for Maryland overall.

Middle school ELA results revealed similar trends, with 56.5 percent at levels 4-5 in Grade 6, 61.0 percent in Grade 7, and 61.4 percent in Grade 8. The comparable state results for these grades were 41.1 percent , 47.3 percent , and 45.1 percent .

Elementary mathematics scores showed 57.4 percent of students at levels 4-5 in Grade 3, 56.0 percent in Grade 4, and 54.1 percent in Grade 5, compared to 42.5 percent , 39.4 percent , and 36.7 percent for these grades across Maryland.

HCPSS middle school mathematics scores were 47.1 percent , 32.3 percent , and 18.3 percent in grades 6, 7 and 8 respectively, all comparing favorably to scores reported statewide. However, meaningful comparisons for middle school math scores cannot be made at the state level, because a large proportion of students begin advanced level mathematics in these grades, and course sequence practices vary widely among school systems.

At the high school level, HCPSS students significantly outperformed their statewide peers. For Algebra I, 55.8 percent of Howard County students scored at levels 4-5, more than twice the state average of 27.2 percent . For the English 10 assessment, 65.7 percent achieved levels 4-5 at HCPSS, compared to 42.6 percent for the state.

The assessments use a five-point score scale, with students performing at levels 4 and 5 considered “proficient” and on track to graduate high school prepared to succeed in college and careers. The Maryland Comprehensive Assessment Program (MCAP) ELA and Math Results report presented to the state board can be viewed at