Wilde Lake Loses One Star on Report Card, Reflecting a Statewide Trend


Arielle Levine

Wilde Lake scored 4/5 stars on the 2023 Maryland State Department of Education report card. The report card makes their evaluations based on test scores, graduation rates, “readiness” for graduation, progress towards English language proficiency, curriculum, and a survey.

On the annual Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) report card, Wilde Lake lost one star this year, lowering their score from 4/5 stars to 3/5 stars. This fall is reflective of statewide trends, as “more than a quarter of schools earned a lower star rating than in 2019,” according to MSDE.

Principal Marcy Leonard says that a fall in test scores and attendance likely caused this decline. She attributes this fall in test scores to the continuing impact of Covid on learning in schools.

Wilde Lake’s earned score was a 55%, which is the second lowest score among Howard County High Schools, after Long Reach, which scored a 52%. In 2019, Wilde Lake was presented with a score of 60%. MSDE reported that Wilde Lake showed no improvement in three out of the five categories assessed and did not meet the annual target for two out of three statewide indicators.

The only category with a set annual target that Wilde Lake met was English language proficiency, with 4.5/10 points.
However, there was no improvement from the 2019 report card.

Despite downward trends, Wilde Lake’s report card reflects areas of growth. Wilde Lake scored highest in the graduation rate category, with a 13.7 out of the 15 points possible. Wilde Lake’s graduation rate has increased by the highest amount of any high school in Howard County since the last report card in 2019.

But there are also areas of growth not reflected on the report card, says Ms. Leonard. Ms. Leonard says that Wilde Lake has seen an increase in the number of traditionally “underrepresented” students in college level

There are so many things that we learn outside of the classroom [at Wilde Lake]…

— Samya Miles, 12th grade

“This tells that students understand that they can access rigorous coursework and know they’ll have the support they need to meet with success,” she said.

Ms. Leonard reports that Wilde Lake has been “implementing interventions,” such as the Wildecat Way vision, which is meant to motivate students to pass classes.

Moving forward, Ms. Leonard hopes more students see “the benefits of being an part of our Ohana and taking advantage of our equitable learning communities by taking rigorous courses.”

As senior Samya Miles said, “There are so many things that we learn outside of the classroom [at Wilde Lake] that helped me grow as a person. People don’t realize how much of a family community there is here.”