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  • STEM Editor


Updated: Oct 12, 2022


Senior STEHM Fellows, Institute for Research & Development for Education (


We have been asked by many people to look at performance in Public Schools at a National Level, and at the Maryland Public Schools and in Wicomico County. This is a brief snapshot at some of the trends that have caught our eye for further study and analysis. We have looked at data at Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) test results at the National Level as reported according to data from test performance by all participating states. In the State of Maryland, we have looked at data from The Maryland Comprehensive Assessment Program (MCAP) assessments of Maryland College and Career Ready Standards (MCCRS). All of this data is available to the public. We encourage all to look at performance data in their State and District. This is a good way to see year to year performance for proficiency in specific subjects at the 4th grade, 8th grade, and 12th grade. We will continue to look at direct and root causes of problems that that we can identify that hinder academic performance in Public Schools. We support all forms of Education, Public Private, and Homeschooling. Our goal is to provide insight and guidance in an effort to provide parents, teachers, and students with a scientific approach to education. Our approach is providing tools for the toolbox of learning.


IRDE has been analyzing performance data for academic proficiency in Mathematics, Reading, Science, Writing for 4th Graders, 8th Graders, and 12th Graders who attend Wicomico County Public Schools. In addition, we have looked at proficiency performance of Public Schools at both the Maryland State and National Level. From analysis of the available data from NAEP and MCAP, we have a pretty clear understanding that most students in the United States are not proficient in Mathematics, Reading, English Language, and Science.

We have evaluated test performances from 2003 to 2015 when possible. These results make it clear how ineffective the Common Core Curriculum has been since its inception. We have determined that more research needs to be conducted to determine exactly what influences a student’s psychological development and success in education. We have worked with students at the High School Level who are motivated to excel in sports and academics in order to enhance their proficiency in Mathematics and Verbal Skills in preparation for the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) and American College Testing (ACT). During our research into academic performance by public school students in the State of Maryland and particularly Wicomico County, we have discovered that very few students take the SAT, and less take the ACT. Maryland has more than 1,400 public schools in 24 public school systems serving all of the State's 23 counties and Baltimore City.

2021 Maryland State Schools At A Glance

Maryland has more than 1,400 public schools in 24 public school systems serving all of the State's 23 counties plus Baltimore City.




Attendance Rate


Graduation Rate

2021 Wicomico County Schools At A Glance




Attendance Rate


Graduation Rate

Due to the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic, Report Card results for the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 school years will not be published. The most recently available Report Card is for 2018-2019. *


MARYLAND NAEP 8th Grade Math Performance Scores

1990 - 2019 School Report Card

There are a total number of 500 pts. possible on the NAEP test. In 1990, the average proficiency of Maryland Students was the lowest of all of the years of data at 261/500, which equals 52.2%. In 2009 and 2011, the average proficiency of Maryland Students was at it highest of all of the years of data at 288/500, which equals 57.6%. The State of Maryland as a whole is considered in the top ten public schools of all 50 States with Massachusetts ranking number one. Here at IRDE, we ask the question of why proficiency in the State of Maryland Average scale scores for grade 8 mathematics, by all students [TOTAL] and jurisdiction for years: 2019, 2017, 2015, 2013, 2011, 2009, 2007, 2005, 2003, 2000, 1996, 1992, and 1990 seem to have a low of 52% and a high of 57.6% over a span of thirteen years. We believe that the responsibility for these results lie with the Maryland State Department of Education, all of the local County Boards of Education in Maryland, and all of the Teachers and Administrators who are tasked with Academic Improvement.

Simply put, we do not find any relevant improvement based on this data. We are seeing trends in MCAP test results that indicate that our 4th graders and 8th graders in Maryland lack proficiency in Mathematics, English Language, Science, and Reading rendering them unprepared for High School. How are they promoted to the next grade? We believe that the lack of proficiency in Mathematics is an albatross carried by the students once they begin public education in Maryland. Maryland 4th Grade Math NAEP results for 2019 clearly reflect less than 50% proficiency in Mathematics.

The question is, if you are not proficient in mathematics according to National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) testing, then how does a student receive a passing grade in mathematics? How can the school promote the child or teenager to the next grade?

How does a student pass math? These are all the questions that parents and parent-teacher coalitions have for local School Boards, Teachers, and Superintendents. In Maryland counties, Wicomico County in particular, has poor performance in 4th Grade, 8th Grade, and 12th Grade education progress, which is unremarkable (with little to any improvement). The MCAP data for specific subjects were examined from 2015 to 2019. Improvement was not evident over that four year period.

We base our conclusion on NAEP results reported and available at this link.

Other Maryland School Performance Data for 4th, 8th, and 12th Grade Students are summarized and available at this link.

When we look at Maryland State Comparison to other states, we find that 8th grade Maryland Math Student Performance is significantly behind the 29th ranked state of Michigan (among other states) in 2019. An average score of 280 for Maryland 8th graders out of a possible 500 points reflects a proficiency of 56%. Source link here.

Wicomico County NAEP scores for 4th, 8th, and 12th grader results were not all readily available. We found MCAP Data for Maryland's Comprehensive Assessment Program with results for 2015 to 2019. We also looked at MCAP data in Wicomico County going back at least five years. Source link here.


We found that much of the data available from

was extremely helpful in looking at all available data. We did not see any data on Maryland Education Performance for 2020-2022 due to the pandemic as reported by the Maryland State Department of education. We have looked at Maryland State Performance Data for students who took the SAT and ACT. In 2021, 778 students in Wicomico County took the SAT or ACT. Less than 758 students took the SAT and 20 students took the ACT. The SAT scores were lower in Wicomico County than many other districts in Maryland with below average scores.

We are interested to find out why students do not take these tests. We wonder if it is because of lack of confidence in academic proficiency. The study is ongoing. Our goal at IRDE is to assist parents and students to excel at academics regardless of whether they attend Private, Public, or are Homeschooled. Our number one recommended resource is Khan Academy. We recommend using resources for Math and other subjects to allow your children to work on their own in order to improve and obtain proficiency.

Some important question we have for the Maryland State Department of Education and the Wicomico County Board of Education involves transparency, public information, and access to information for parents. Why are parents not allowed in all board meetings and given a chance to speak about issues? Why aren't parents serving on educational comittees instead of all administrators and faculty? There is little to no transparency concerning crime and other events that occur in the schools. Most importantly, why are people who are in charge of Academic Improvement remain employed when they fail to achieve any significant results over a period of several years? We will continue to address the concerns of those who seek knowledge in an effort to improve education at all levels. We will work with all schools in Maryland public, private and home school to further identify best practices and differentiated learning methods for increasing academic proficiency.

Senior STEM Fellow & Editor

"Knowledge is a Stage Process: It must go forward and backwards along each step progression."




Maryland State Department of Education

Maryland Comprehensive Assessment Program (MCAP) Mathematics

The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) from Hart Research Associates


District Demographic Dashboard 2015–19

Wicomico County Public Schools, MD

District Details (2020-2021 school year; Fiscal data from 2018-2019)Characteristics

Data Tools

NAEP Report Card: Mathematics

State Average Scores

NAEP Data Explorer

Maryland (MCAP) 2019 Results

2021 Maryland Report Card

Wicomico County Public Schools

Office of Shool Improvement

Wicomico County Public Schools

Academics & Instruction

Chief Academic Officer Dr. Frederick L. Briggs

Assistant Superintendent for Instruction

About Our IRDE Research Fellows

Institute of Research and Development for Education (IRDE) Fellows

We are an Educational Research Center. Our research fellows are retired Scientists, Engineers and Educators. We are focused on promoting and enhancing Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics subject resources for students. We have many fellow members who are members of the National Physics Honor Society, and Fellows of the American Physical Society (APS). Many have obtained Doctorate Degrees in a Scientific Field, all have a Master's and Bachelor's degree in a Subject such as Mathematics, Physics, and Engineering. More than half have have Served in a Military Service, taught at a College or University, and finally volunteered to teach in Public Education through programs such as Troops to Teachers. All have Master's and or Doctorate Degrees in Education in addition to their Subject of Study. Some are retired doctoral members of The National Education Association (NEA) and the associated unions in the States and Counties they taught. We have experience in Military, Scientific and Industrial application of knowledge learned from education and experience. What we do is learn to teach, teach learn, and continue as students helping others by providing information, tools, and any support we can.

Several of our Senior Fellows are Service Academy graduates. All of our members are retired and are volunteers. Our mission is give to others, as others have given to us on our journey of learning.

National Physics Honor Society


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