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The Student News Site of Wilde Lake High School

The Paw Print

The Student News Site of Wilde Lake High School

The Paw Print

MCAP Test Scores To Count as 20% of Final Grade

MCAP+scores+will+count+for+20%25+of+the+final+grades+for+the+classes+of+2026+and+2027.+Graphic+by+Bella+Horvath+%26+Artumn+Neil.
MCAP scores will count for 20% of the final grades for the classes of 2026 and 2027. Graphic by Bella Horvath & Artumn Neil.

This year, the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) passed a requirement that at the end of the school year, the Maryland Comprehensive Assesment Program (MCAP) Life Science Test will account for 20% of the final grade.  This action only impacts students in the class of 2026 and 2027 .

According to MSDE, these test “measure student learning of core academic content in the respective subjects area”. They say that teachers’ instruction, however, “comprises most of the student’s final grade as they learn skills to master state standard”.

The Maryland High School Graduations Task Force recommended revised graduation requirements to the states board and the state Superintendent beginning in the 2022-2023 school year.

They suggested assessments in Algebra, English, Biology, and Government courses.  These assessments would count as End of Course (EOC) exams separate from quarter grades . As well as midterms and finals .

According to a statement from MSDE, the Maryland Graduation Task Force concluded that “high stakes exit exams disproportionately and negatively impact minority and economically disadvantaged students, reducing their likelihood of graduating from high school”.

Wilde Lake has a 76% total nonwhite enrollment, according to a US News report. Hoycel Ocasio, a sophmore , is a Puerto Rican student at Wilde Lake. She says that the change in the test score policy is unfair to nonwhite students because it does not let them “succeed and advance.”

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Despite being a statewide policy, many teachers and students say they were previously unaware of the impact test scores will have on students’ overall grades. Some teachers disagree with this new policy, saying it can negatively impact how they teach their students.

Reading specialist Ms. Wilson says the test take instruction out of the hangs of teachers. “It takes some of the freedom away from teachers to instruct in the way that they think is the best for the students,” she said .

Sophmore Milo Neilson, who was previously unaware of the tests, describes the exam as “inaccurate” because of typical students performance on assessments. ” people have test anxiety, and so it affects how they perform . They are not a good measurement of [ a student’s intelligence]”.

End of course state exams are an unfair portrayal of the capabilities of students and teachers, says Ms. Wilson. “The anxiety of the stress makes everything [learned] go away, and it makes it look like [students] don’t know anything , or like the teachers haven’t taught them anything, ” she said .

“There’s a lot of other ways that people could show that they’ve understood and mastered the curriculum” .

 

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