K-12 Education

The State of Education for Students Learning English in Maryland and Prince George’s County Public Schools (6.14.19)
Kayla Good

This report examines the state of education for English Learning (EL) students in Maryland and Prince George's County Public Schools (PGCPS). It found disparities in graduation rates, attendance, and standardized test scores for EL students compared to non-EL students, and in PGCPS, a decline in graduation rates as the enrollment of EL students has grown.  It provides an overview of the International High Schools model adopted in PGCPS—an innovative program aimed at addressing the challenges presented by an increasing EL population. This model specializes in providing EL students with equitable access to educational opportunities. 
Policy Brief: The State of Education for Students Learning English in Maryland and Prince George’s County Public Schools 

High Suspending Schools in Maryland: Where are they Located and Who Attends Them? (10.31.18)
Gail L. Sunderman & Robert Croninger

This report examines disparities in out-of-school suspension (OSS) rates to understand which schools across Maryland use OSS at high rates and what school-level factors predict high suspension rates. It finds that both the district and school a student attends play a role in suspension rates. The report concludes by identifying policies and practices to address disparities in disciplinary practices. 

When Law Enforcement Meets School Discipline:  School-related Arrests in Maryland 2015-16 (6.1.18)
Gail L. Sunderman & Erin Janulis

How do school-related arrests vary across public school districts in Maryland? This report shows that arrest rates are much higher in some districts than others, and that that black, male and low-income students, and students with disabilities are more likely to be arrested at school than other students. The report concludes by identifying policies and practices that can address these disproportionalities and reduce the number of school-related arrests. 

Does School Composition Matter? Estimating the Relationship between Race, Socioeconomic Status, and Achievement in Maryland Public Schools (10.18.17) 
Jeremy R. Waldron, Robert Croninger, & Gail L. Sunderman

Does school composition matter in Maryland? This analysis examines the relationship between the racial/ethnic and economic composition of Maryland’s public schools and school performance. Consistent with other research, it schools that school composition is related to student achievement.  However, these analyses of Maryland Public Schools do not provide information on how much of this association is due to differences in the quality of schooling or in the opportunities available to children outside of schools.  The report concludes by identifying policies and practices that can address these differences in school performance. 

Is there a Teacher Shortage in Maryland? Examining Trends in Supply and Demand (5.30.17)
Erin Janulis

An increasing number of reports suggest that America has a teacher shortage. But what is the situation here in Maryland? In this report, Erin Janulis examines trends in the supply and demand for teachers in Maryland, comparing how these trends have changed between 2005 and 2015. She finds little evidence that there is a teacher shortage in Maryland and explains why in this report. 
Policy Brief: Is there a Teacher Shortage in Maryland? Examining Trends in Supply and Demand. 

Dual Enrollment in Maryland and Baltimore City: An Examination of Program Components and Design (5.18.17)
Gail L. Sunderman

Dual enrollment programs offer high school students the opportunity to enroll in college courses and earn transferable college credit while they are still pursuing a high school diploma.  Increasingly, policymakers are encouraging access to dual enrollment for a broader range of students.  Yet in 2015, only 11% of 12th graders in Maryland—and only 2% of 12th graders in Baltimore City—were dually enrolled.  Why aren’t more students, particularly low-income students of color, taking advantage of this opportunity? 
In this Abel Foundation report, Maryland Equity Project director Gail Sunderman examines the implementation of dual enrollment in four Maryland school districts and finds that the current law does not go far enough to create equitable opportunities for all students.
Policy Brief: Dual Enrollment in Maryland and Baltimore City: An Examination of Program Components and Design 

Trends in Maryland Public Schools: English Language Learner Enrollment (3.28.17)
Angélica Montoya Ávila

This data brief examines the enrollment of English Language Learners (ELL) in Maryland public schools. It shows that the ELL population is growing at a faster rate in Maryland than in the U.S. and that Maryland is among 25 states with the largest proportions of ELL students. The data brief also compares languages spoken at home in Maryland with those across the US and shows how the ELL population is distributed, county-by-county, in Maryland. 
Data Brief: Trends in Maryland Public Schools: English Language Learner Enrollment

Funding Formulas and Revenue Streams: A Primer on Public School Finance in Maryland (9.15.16)
Laura Checovich

Education funding consists of a combination of federal, state, and local funding streams, each contributing varying portions of funds, and each with its own set of rules and regulations for determining the level of funding and how they can be spent. Checovich provides an easy-to-read guide to understanding how these various streams come together to fund Maryland’s public schools.
PDF iconPolicy Brief: Funding Formulas and Revenue Streams: A Primer on Public School Finance in Maryland  (1.47 MB)

Financing Public Education in Maryland: A Brief History (9.15.16)
Laura Checovich This policy brief traces the evolution of Maryland's public education funding formula beginning in 1978 when the state adopted a formula designed to equalize funding across districts to the current formula based on funding adequacy. 
PDF iconFinancing Public Education in Maryland: A Brief History  (1.12 MB)

The Teachers’ Voice: Using Technology in Maryland Public Schools. (11.17.15) 
Bradley Quarles, June, Ahn, & Gail L. Sunderman  This report presents the results of a survey administered in spring 2015 to teachers across Maryland. The survey was designed to assess how teachers use and integrate technology into their classroom practice and their perceptions of the adequacy of their schools’ technology tools. It also asked teachers about their access to technology during testing and what they need more of to support their use of technology. 
PDF iconPolicy Brief: The Teachers’ Voice: Using Technology in Maryland Pubic Schools.  (1.56 MB)

Out-of-School Suspension in Maryland Public Schools, 2008 – 2014. (11.4.15)
Matthew Henry 

Increasingly, exclusionary discipline, or the practice of removing students from the classroom in response to disruptive behavior, is coming under scrutiny. Since 2008 Maryland has made a concerted effort to reduce the use of suspension in its public schools. In this policy brief, Matthew Henry examines the impact of Maryland’s change in disciplinary policy on out-of-school suspensions in public schools. He finds that while suspension rates have decreased, racial disparities increased. 
PDF iconPolicy Brief: Out-of-School Suspension in Maryland Public Schools, 2008 – 2014. (1.34 MB)

Making Sense of MSA and NAEP Assessment Results: How Well Are Maryland Students Doing? (9.15.15)
David Casalaspi, Gail L. Sunderman, Robert Croninger, & Jillian Luchner

How well are Maryland’s students performing? Every year, Maryland State Assessment (MSA) results show that student performance is improving and that racial and poverty achievement gaps are closing. But a closer look at test score data reveals a more nuanced picture of student performance. In this policy brief, researchers at the Maryland Equity Project compare Maryland students’ results on the MSA with their results on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) and discuss the limitations of relying on one test to judge student performance. 
PDF iconMEP_MD Student Achievement_MSA-NAEP_9 15 15 (1.72 MB)

School-to-Prison Pipeline: A Comparison of Discipline Policy Between Maryland and Texas Public Schools (8.26.15)
Meredith Bouchein  As Meredith Bouchein argues in this policy brief, the school-to-prison pipeline is a chain of events that increases the likelihood of a student entering the criminal justice system and shows that minority students are disproportionality affected by disciplinary actions. She compares discipline policies in Maryland and Texas, and shows that policy changes can decrease suspension rates, but that without a specific equity focus, racial disparities increase. It concludes with recommendations on reforming school disciplinary policies.
PDF iconBouchein_School_to_Prison_Final_8.26.15.pdf (1.7 MB)

Data Briefs: Trends in Maryland’s Public School Enrollment (2.25.15) These four data briefs focus on trends in public school enrollment in Maryland over the last twenty years (1990-2010). The first data brief examines trends in public school enrollment, showing where growth is taking place. The second brief shows how the racial composition of schools is changing, while the third traces changes in the socioeconomic composition of schools. The final brief shows how segregation, by both race and income, is also changing. Using data from the Maryland Equity Project research report, Creating Opportunities or Settling for Inequities? Two Decades of Change in Maryland’s Public Schools, the four briefs include tables, figures and maps designed to highlight major demographic trends in Maryland. 
PDF iconMEPSegregationBrief_2.25.15.pdf (1.34 MB)PDF iconMEP Poverty Brief (1.26 MB)PDF iconMEPRacialCompBrief (1.28 MB)PDF iconMEPEnrollmentBrief_2.25.15.pdf (1.37 MB)

K-12 Online Education: What are the Policy Implications for Maryland? (2.4.15)
June Ahn, Bradley Quarles & Austin Beck

Technology has become an increasingly important topic in K-12 education, but designing effective policies to keep up with the advancements in learning technology and facilitate the use of digital tools in K-12 public education is harder than it might seem. Simply adopting policies that facilitate access to technology is insufficient to improve student learning. This policy brief compares Maryland’s experiences with online education to other states and describes the governance, funding, learning, and accountability challenges online education poses for K-12 schools and districts. It shows how different kinds of online delivery options each involve a different set of questions and challenges that, if addressed, will facilitate successful use and implementation. The brief concludes with recommendations for how policymakers can address these challenges and better link instructional and learning goals to technology use in K-12 classrooms.
PDF iconPolicy Brief: What are the Policy Implications for Maryland.  (1.58 MB)

Creating Opportunities or Settling for Inequities? Two Decades of Change in Maryland’s Public Schools (11.13.14)
Gail L. Sunderman & Justin Dayhoff

Since 1990, Maryland has undergone substantial changes in the racial and socio-economic composition of its public schools. Statewide, White students are no longer a majority and the proportion of low-income students has doubled to 40.1% in 2010. Tracking demographic changes in public school enrollment between 1990 and 2010, this report also finds that schools are becoming more segregated by race and that the concentration of low-income students in schools is increasing. Appendices provide detailed data and figures that show these trends by school district.
Policy Report: Creating Opportunities or Settling for Inequities? Two Decades of Change in Maryland’s Public Schools

Who Attends Maryland's Reward, Focus, and Priority Schools? (8.28.14)

In 2012, Maryland redesigned its school accountability system and adopted the School Progress Index (SPI) to measure school performance. This index is used to identify Reward, Focus, or Priority schools. In this data brief, we examine the geographic and demographic characteristics of schools identified as needing improvement under this new system and show where these schools are located. We find that schools identified as low performing (Focus and Priority) enroll predominately minority and low-income students. We discuss the policy implications of this new system.
PDF iconData Brief: Maryland’s Reward, Focus, and Priority Schools. (1.06 MB)

High School Mathematics Standards in Maryland: Challenges and Consequences of Policy Implementation (6.24.14)
James T. Fey  While the current trend in Maryland to raise high school mathematics requirements may be based on good intentions, as Professor James T. Fey points out in this policy commentary, the devil is in the details. Dr. Fey argues that implementation of the state’s new graduation policies faces significant challenges, from defining what it means to be ‘college and career ready’ to designing and staffing effective mathematic transition courses to assuring that minority and low-income students have the support they need to succeed. In this commentary, Fey takes a close look at these questions from a research perspective and provides recommendations to the state to improve implementation of its new high school mathematics requirements.
PDF iconPolicy Commentary: High School Mathematics Standards in Maryland (997.26 KB)

School-Community Partnerships: A Typology for Guiding Systemic Educational Reform (2.19.14) 
Linda Valli, Amanda Stefanski, & Reuben Jacobson Dissatisfaction with U.S. schools has generated a wide range of school reform efforts in recent years. One of the most current, and compelling, reform stratetgies centers on school-community As Professor Linda Valli and her colleagues point out, a close look at these partnerships indicates a variety of models, strategies, and purposes for these partnerships.
In this brief, the authors develop a typology of school-community partnerships. According to Professor Valli, “thinking about ‘types’ of partnerships can enable practitioners, policymakers, and researchers to systematically determine the conditions needed to support a particular partnership and identify the obstacles to achieving specific goals.” The report also provides examples of school and community partnerships in each model.
PDF iconPolicy Brief: School Community Partnerships (933.8 KB)