By now you have heard or read about the 2018 Maryland School Report Cards rolled out by Maryland State Department of Education. I thought I would see how each of the high schools did on the “report cards”. Here is the data listed in the system with the star rating for each school, total points received, % earned and county rankings:

Now this is the summary data…I provide links to each school below so you can review the detailed information.

You may notice the points and percentages don’t totally match up…that is because some schools were not evaluated for “Progress in Achieving English Language Proficiency” which was a 10 point evaluation item…so that is why some schools points and percentages are off from others.

Seven of the twelve schools in Howard County received 5 star ratings, four received 4 star ratings and one received a 3 star rating.

Top rated schools by percentages are:

  • River Hill (1st)
  • Marriotts Ridge (2nd)
  • Glenelg (tied 3rd)
  • Centennial (tied 3rd)

Looking at these schools by council district: River Hill (District 4), Marriotts Ridge (District 5), Glenleg (District 5) and Centennial (District 1)

Bottom rated schools in the county by percentages are:

  • Hammond (9th)
  • Long Reach (10th)
  • Wilde Lake (11th)
  • Oakland Mills (12th)

Looking at these schools by council district: Hammond (District 3), Long Reach (District 2), Wilde Lake (District 4) and Oakland Mills (District 2).

Looking at the current makeup of the Board of Education by district:

  • District 1: 2 board members (Delmont-Small & Taj)
  • District 2: 0 board members
  • District 3: 0 board members
  • District 4: 4 board members (Coombs, Ellis, Wu & Mallo)
  • District 5: 1 board member (Cutroneo)

Here is the detailed data by school:

There is a lot of interesting information on all schools in the2018 Maryland School Report Cards…so be sure to give it a look when you have some free time.

I may break some additional numbers down by looking at things like overcrowding or other data points as it relates to this data…so stay tuned.

Scott E


  1. The real answer on how high schools rank is looking at them statistically by FARM and by race. River Hill ranks where it does because it has the lowest percentage of FARM and Black/Hispanics in the County. All three top high schools have very high percentages of high achieving Asian students. Going down the list statistically you can see the same trend. This says something about economic and racial segregation in County schools.

    • Thanks for the comment Jim. Today’s post was about providing the summary data…I plan to do additional post breaking the numbers down further…just needed to start somewhere. It is also why I provided a link to each school…so that anyone could go view the detailed data. Stay tuned…I will have more on this topic coming at some point in the future.

  2. It might be interesting to look at which schools are attended by students from which council district, rather than the council district where the schools are located.

    • I will be providing additional posts on this data and comparing this information to other data…I mentioned districts for a very specific reason…3 of the 4 schools at the bottom of the rankings in the county are located in districts without representation on the current HoCoBOE. I found that an interesting stat for this first post.

  3. We are a VERY test centric county. You can have high standardized test scores or you can provide children with a decent education… can’t have both. Our school system’s curriculum is nothing but test-prep. Those who have the means ($$$$) pay for tutoring and other services for their children to get the decent education that they deserve. It’s too bad that our county boasts about it’s great schools, yet all they want is to reduce children to a number on a stupid test that means absolutely nothing except to show concentrations of wealth (or lack of) within the county. This is what drives real estate….and nothing more.

    • Do you have any statistics to support your statement of “We are a VERY test centric county.”? How do you define “VERY” and Less VERY? And more important, a student can get good grades is mainly because of his/her hard work but not tutoring. Please show your respect to students who work VERY hard. In addition, what do you mean about “stupid test”? If you think the test is “stupid”, please show everyone the method you believe is much more smart. Thank you.

  4. It seems that we need to provide a more rigorous statistics course in our public school system, (:-) LOL) especially to people who are interested in ‘Journalism’ or ‘news reporting’. One major rule in statistical science is that ‘correlation DOES NOT EQUAL to causation’.

    From the data we can only say the ‘poorness of the community’ is correlated with ‘lower school performance’. It is very misleading to say the ‘poorness of community’ is the causing effect of ‘lower performance in school’. Since Jim mentioned high achieving Asian students, if we look within each of the ‘low performing’ schools, you will probably find Asian students in that particular school are still outperforming other groups? Then what we do? We put them in the worse class, take a square root of their score to make them less standout, so now everyone looks equal? LOL

    To find out what really cause discrepancy in school performance, there are other major effects apply across all ethnic groups, such as :

    — 2-parents family vs single parent
    What is wrong to teach our girls that it is not a good idea to get pregnant before you are independent, and find a responsible partner who can/ is willing to raise a child together with you

    — Age of parents when child was born .
    If you look at high performing schools, I bet you will see most of the parents wait until they finish college or even graduate/professional school to have children, (ie mid/late 20’s or even 30s), so they are mature enough to take the responsibility to start a family, and they have been saving all those early years to be financially and mentally ready. Maybe that is what the ‘rich family’ Jim was referring to , compare to people have children when they can not even support themselves. Is that more an issue of lacking personal responsibility than unfair wealth distribution?

    – Priority of education in family value
    This is probably the most dominant effect across all ethnic groups. Asians and Jews happen to have a long tradition of prioritizing education over personal enjoyment (both the parents and the students). We saw families from various background performs equally well as long as their families value education the same way. Would it make more positive influence if the school district to start a campaign educating our parents that education start from HOME NOT SCHOOL , and teach the parents what they can do at home to make a difference in their children’s life? You care your children, spend your money on books, not nail spa, hair dos, fancy cars. If you have money for both , good for you! If not, children ‘s education need to be on the top of your spending list.

    –Tell the truth, instead of bubbles. Teach responsibility instead of Excuses
    What is wrong to tell our disadvantaged students that since they are already lacking family support, education is the most possible way to climb out of the hole. So respect and appreciate the teacher who are trying to help, take your own responsibility in changing your life through effort and discipline, not whining & waiting for others to change for you.

    It is so interesting that we do not dare to address these root issues, or even talk about it in the public policy area. Instead, we go the easy way , trying to simply link poor performance with race, gender, GEO location etc.

    Yes, you could find a way to redistrict the lower performing students into outperforming schools, making the schools look more ‘EQUAL’. But ,then, if you look close into each school, those who outperformed are still outperforming, those who fell behind are still staying behind. But now all statistics look equal, at least at school level! We can claim we solved the discrepancy issue in school performance. What a big achievement! Or maybe NOT.

  5. The Star ratings, just like the previous ratings, come down to student income. These are ratings of the performance of the students on tests, which is mostly based on their family’s income. It is not based on school performance. For example, it isn’t based on faculty to student ratios or programs for helping with homework, or enrichment. It isn’t based on how well students do after correcting for their family’s income. Doing statistics this way is statistical malpractice. It would be like giving one source of water to a group of smokers and another source of water to a group of non-smokers, and comparing the groups without correcting for smoking, and concluding that one source of water causes cancer. These results do more harm than good.

  6. Even though Rick’s idea seems to be very main stream, unfortunately, it is not the whole truth. That is probably why so many years after civil rights movement , we are still troubled by segregation and poverty in certain community. We are looking at the wrong direction for the right solution, how will that work? A consequence of crippled public education,not enough emphasis on STEM which is based on science and fact, too much emphasis on politics and liberal art which lead to people using their feelings and emotions more than thinking deeply with reasoning and logic.

    Imaging a family won Mega million lottery overnight, but they have horrible financial habits, and not much emphasis on education. Will the big bundle of cash suddenly improve their children’s school performance? It will probably buy them a fancy house or cars, definitely not better school performance without real change in mentality because the money is not earned by having right value, and working hard, which means they have nothing new to instill into their children’s mind.

    In statistical research, we need to control for all other factors, before looking at the causal effect.
    – Considering 2 families with the same income, both single parent family, their children have roughly the same talent and motivation, attending the same school, who will succeed in school? Anyone with a little common sense knows that the one with parents that value education more probably will perform better. (This is called controlling all other factors before talking about causal effect. )
    -Let us look at another situation of 2 families with children mostly equal talented and motivated.
    *One family is supported with single parent who can bring in $ 50,000 income, but has to work full time, not much time left with the children.
    *The other with 2 parents, both work full time as well and each bring in the same $50,000, but can take turns spending time with their children, and the family income doubles, who will probably perform better in school?
    If it turns out the children from 2-parents family perform better because they get more attention from the parents, is this an simple income issue? All 3 parents in this case have equal income, work equally hard at work. But the single parent family will have more stress to run the household because there is no 2nd parent to help. Is this child doing worse because the other ‘richer’ family ripped him off? Is the other double income family guilty for this discrepancy in school performance or the 2-parents household should be a good model in our textbook demonstrating it is a better idea to raise children in a complete family? To help the first child, should we just move him to an outperforming school, let his lower performance be washed out by other top performers , or we recognize his lack of family attention, make it up by more one-to one or small group tutoring in his current school?

    But Rick is looking at the relationship between school performance and income ignoring all other factors which are the more vital to this problem. How people get to have higher income. Yes, there are some born with golden spoon in their mouth, but more middle/upper class in Howard county get there by getting necessary education, a decent job, good family & financial planning, delay enjoyment, prioritizing. Quite some low income people made bad choices in their early life which have a significant unrevokable consequences in their late life.

    If we do not bother looking at data scientifically, claiming we are simply look for correlated factors (not causing factors), we can at least equally claim ‘poor school performance’ is more strongly related to single parent hood, parents crime rate, family culture background, family spending priority. Why none of these were ever discussed publicly? Oh, yes, we do not want to hurt feelings, and it is always easier to blame others (we are doing poorly, because others who do well are bad ones) . Then what is the point try to bring poor performed students up, you want them to become one of the ‘bad, privileged’ over-achieving group?

  7. I strongly support Jim and Carrol’s comments. Some tend to focus on blaming or shaming others families which will never work. Instead, education is a combination of school and family. We need focus on both sides at least. Motivating students to learn and providing opportunities for them are critical. Public school can do so much. There is even a tendency to shame or blame high achieving students which is a slippery slope. Sometimes there is a little racist attitude in those feeling.

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