BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Maryland education officials on Tuesday released the 2019 school report card which showed a drop in the number of five-star schools from last year.
Across the state, there were 31 fewer five-star schools than last year.
This year, Howard County had 25 five-star schools, the most of any county. Baltimore and Anne Arundel counties had 23 each, while Baltimore city had just one.
The results are based on how students scored on the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) assessment test as well as factors like attendance, career and college readiness, academic achievement and the atmosphere in the schools.
Nearly 60 schools lost their top four- and five-star ratings.
Meanwhile, Anne Arundel County went from five top schools last year to 18 this year.
“I am a very proud principal today because we received a star rating of four as compared to our star rating of two last year which was very frustrating because I know how hard and dedicated staff is to student success,” said Park Elementary School Principal Sandy Blondell.
Blondell said school officials downloaded the data and got to work, focusing more on individual student needs.
“They are never willing to take no for an answer, they always want to find a way to help each student grow,” said Kim Kuhoric, a teacher at Park Elementary.
This year, the report card also asked students how they feel about their school’s climate. A representative of the state teachers’ union said that key benchmark needs work.
“The climate survey show(s) that many of our students don’t feel safe in their schools,” said Cheryl Bost with the Maryland State Education Association. “It also show(s) that many of our educators say there is not enough support and resources.”
The report card also showed statewide school enrollment continues to increase, with 896,837 students enrolled in 2019, up from 893,689 last year and 874,514 in 2015.
The full report card is available on the education department’s website.