Priority Issue: College & Career Readiness

Maryland's College & Career Readiness Standards  

In 2014, the Maryland College and Career-Ready Standards and Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) Implementation Review Workgroup (State Workgroup) was created by House Bill 1164 (Chapter 246). MABE’s designated member of the State Workgroup was Verjeana Jacobs, Prince George’s County Board Member and MABE President Elect/President. 

In light of the significance, breadth, and scope of the issues to be deliberated, MABE’s President established an Ad Hoc College and Career Readiness Standards (CCRS) Committee as a forum for facilitating MABE’s participation in the state workgroup.The charge for MABE's CCRS Committee includes the following goals and objectives:

  • To provide a forum for discussing and informing MABE’s participation in state workgroup;
  • To assist MABE’s representative on the State Workgroup, MABE leadership, and MABE staff in developing MABE positions, comments, testimony, responses, and other communications to    
  • the State Workgroup;
  • To communicate pending and final decisions of the State Workgroup to the MABE Board of Directors and all local boards; and to consult with the MABE Board of Directors for guidance and positions, as necessary. 

Background on the State Workgroup

The Maryland College and Career-Ready Standards and Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) Implementation Review Workgroup was created by House Bill 1164 (Chapter 246 (2014)). MABE’s designated member of the workgroup is Verjeana Jacobs, Prince George’s County Board Member and MABE President Elect. The State Workgroup held numerous meetings, between July 2014 and February 2015, to accomplish the tasks set forth in the legislation, and also reiterated the commitment to pursue the objectives outlined in the legislation through specific assignments to MSDE or through collaboration between MSDE and local school systems.  In August the state workgroup issued a preliminary report. The preliminary report, final report, accompanying appendices, and other meeting materials are available on the MSDE website.

MSDE Website Dedicated to State Workgroup Materials

The state workgroup is charged with completing a preliminary report and final report, with the following reporting requirements. By August 15, 2014, the workgroup must: 

  • identify and analyze the best practices of local school systems in the State and in other jurisdictions that are successfully implementing the MCCRS and PARCC assessments; 
  • assess how MCCRS and the PARCC assessments will affect students with disabilities, English language learners, and students who qualify for free and reduced-price meals; 
  • determine what, if any, new curriculum resources will be needed in order to fully implement MCCRS; 
  • identify how MSDE plans to assist local school systems in preparing parents and students for the PARCC assessments; and 
  • assess the needs of teachers and principals in the area of professional development related to the implementation of MCCRS including (1) what, if any, State and federal funding is available to supplement the funding that local governments provide toward the professional development of teachers and principals and (2) what, if any, professional development and ongoing support from local school systems is available to expand the use of technology as an instructional tool in the classroom. 

By December 31, 2014, the workgroup was required to submit a final report to the Governor, the State Board of Education, and the General Assembly on its findings and recommendations on the following:

  • assess the technological readiness and needs of the public schools for the implementation of the PARCC assessments, including what resources will be needed to teach students the necessary computer skills to take the PARCC assessments;  
  • begin recommending a professional development plan for MSDE to implement during the 2014-2015 school year to assist local school systems in implementing MCCRS; 
  • recommend a plan to meet the technological infrastructure needs of public schools related to the implementation of PARCC assessments; 
  • assess how the PARCC assessments testing window will affect the normal school calendar and school schedule; 
  • assess how local school systems are including teachers in the discussion to improve the implementation of MCCRS; 
  • analyze the guidance local school systems have received from MSDE regarding measuring student growth in light of the new teacher evaluation system and student learning objects; 
  • assess how the new teacher evaluation system is impacting local school systems’ ability to implement the MCCRS; and 
  • develop a plan to transfer from the Maryland High School Assessments in English and Algebra/Data Analysis to the comparable PARCC assessments as a graduation requirement.

Meetings of the MABE CCRS Committee

Wednesday, July 30, 2014 – (Meeting Agenda and Materials: State Workgroup RosterJuly 10 Meeting AgendaLocal Best Practices Presentation (Anne Arundel)PARCC Online Fiesld Test/Technology UpdateJuly 25 Meeting Agenda, and MABE Summary of the State Board's July 22, 2014 HSA/PARCC Transition Action)

Outcomes & Next Steps 

The State Workgroup issued its Final Report in March, 2015. The Final Report includes numerous recommendations, under the categories: Overarching recommendations; Curricular resources and school operations; Students, parents and communities; Staff preparation and support; Use of student growth data in teacher and principal evaluations; and Technology. 

The Final Report contains a comprehensive set of recommendations for further analysis and implementation; including several recommendations for further collaboration between MSDE and local boards of education. Therefore, MABE leadership and staff met with MSDE staff and agreed to develop a set of specific areas for further collaboration. 

On September 2, 2015 MABE wrote to Dr. Jack Smith, then MSDE’s Chief Academic Officer, regarding MABE’s ongoing interest in the successful implementation of reforms to instruction, assessments and educator evaluations arising from the adoption of the Maryland College and Career Readiness Standards. The letter enclosed a Memorandum outlining several of MABE’s recommendations aligned with the recommendations adopted by State Workgroup. 

Specifically, MABE has requested that MSDE and representatives of local boards of education meet to agree on a process to facilitate local input on the definition of standards for college and career readiness and the instructional, assessment, and professional development programs developed to fulfill the mission that all of Maryland’s high school graduates achieve this readiness standard. 


Verjeana Jacobs, Chair

Prince George's County

Nancy Reynolds, Vice ChairHarford County
Teresa Milio BirgeAnne Arundel County

Donna Brightman 

Washington County

Carolyn Elmore 

Wicomico County

Kathryn Groth 

Frederick County
Peter Kannam Baltimore City

Beverly Kelley 

Queen Anne's County
Patricia O'Neill Montgomery County

Warner Sumpter 

Somerset County