Opportunity Gap in Education Outcomes

According to the 2018 Maryland Report Card, HCPSS was maintaining over a 90% graduation rate, which is a very respectable stat. Digging into the data presents a very different story. Overall graduation rates across the Special Service categories climb to 93.33% for ADA 504, but plummet to 67.41% for all students with IEPs, rebound to 78.28% for students receiving Free or Reduced Meals, and bottom out at 43.44% for English Learner students.

Howard County Public School System can do better. Family income need not be such a predictor of educational success. Those in need of Individualized Education Programs and in need of English instruction deserve better. We can do better.

Viewed through the lens of racial grouping, HCPSS is failing to meet the needs of student body. That over 90% graduation rate hides that just over 3 out of 4 Hispanic students graduate in a four year term, unlike the over 95% rate of White students. Looking at the top level data allows cracks to exist through which the system can fail whole blocks of students.

Howard County Public School System can do better.

Intersecting racial groupings with the Special Services draws out some truly abyssal scores. For instance the student body has 57% showing full proficiency in English & Language Arts 8th grade assessment, though when looking only at the students receiving Free or Reduced Meals that drops to 19.6% in Black students and 13.2% for Hispanic students. HCPSS is failing to meet the educational needs of our students.

Howard County Public School System must do better.