Carey Wright, the newly selected state superintendent of Maryland public schools, is trying to fix the way Maryland measures academic success.

That means making changes to the state test, revamping the standards for English, math and social studies, and improving the virtual hub that measures the success of each public school. The point of all this, she says, is to give families a clearer view of how well their children are taught.

“If there’s one thing I want with this, I want everybody to be very transparent about what we’re doing,” Wright said.

At a Monday morning news conference, Wright said a task force, made up of superintendents, teachers, principals and professionals who design standardized tests, will brainstorm a new way to hold school systems accountable for how much their students learn.

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Currently students take an annual state test called Maryland Comprehensive Assessment Program to measure their proficiency in English, math and science. And Maryland has a rating system that gives each school one to five stars based on their academic performance, attendance, graduation rates and more.

Wright recalled that about 76% of Maryland schools received at least three out of five stars, yet only 47% of students were proficient on the state exams.

“You can’t have three-quarters of your schools being rated as excellent, if you will, and then not seeing student achievement, almost commensurate with that,” Wright said.

She wants experts to determine whether a different model would give families a clearer picture of what’s happening in their schools.

That’s where the task force comes in. The group will also be asked to recommend a way to improve the state assessment. It’s a direct response to what school districts have been asking for, Wright said.

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Wright has already been leading the revamp of the English, math and social studies frameworks, the standards school systems should follow when building their curriculums. Wright wants those standards aligned with the changes to the state test. That work would take between 10 and 12 months, she estimated.

Another forthcoming change is the way school data is reported. Josh Michael, vice president of the state school board, said that school-by-school data like test results will be released at the same time as statewide numbers, rather than weeks later, the norm in recent years.

“That’s just pragmatically for the public, a really important element of transparency and accountability,” Michael said.

The Maryland report card website, where families can find data on their schools, is slated for an overhaul, too. It “needs to be a lot more accessible for folks to understand and be able to access data for their schools in their districts,” Wright said.

The task force has a lot of work ahead of them, the state superintendent said. They’ll meet about twice a month in person or virtually with the goal of bringing their proposed changes to the board in December.

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“We have a leader in Dr. Wright who was willing to make transparently simple fixes and get under the hood ... to really get at that piece of how do we get the core work of schools moving again in our public schools in Maryland,” said Michael, who is also executive director of the Sherman Family Foundation, a financial supporter of The Banner.

Correction: This story has been updated to correct Josh Michael’s titles with the state school board and with the Sherman Family Foundation.