School Improvement in Maryland

Division of Curriculum, Assessment and Accountability

Vision and Mission


The Division of Curriculum, Assessment, and Accountability exemplifies effective leadership and support that empowers stakeholders to develop world class students in Maryland, who are life-long learners and productive, responsible citizens of a global society.


Through collaborative and innovative leadership, the Division of Curriculum, Assessment, and Accountability will provide an overarching strategic plan that encompasses:

• Data informed decisions
• Systemic planning
• High quality resources
• Professional learning
• Continuous improvement

Teaching and Learning

Designed for teachers, these pages contain instructional strategies, voluntary state assessment by grade level and standard, assessments, rubrics, toolkit resources and key MSDE contacts.

College and Career-Ready State Standards

The State Board adopted the Common Core State Standards in June of 2010. The new Maryland College and Career Ready Standards frameworks were developed using those standards as their foundation.

Professional Development

A comprehensive and inclusive approach to planning professional development which meets teacher learning needs and contributes to improved learning.

In This Section:
  • ELA Standards and Frameworks
  • ELA Units
  • Mathematics Standards and Frameworks
  • Mathematics Units

In This Section:
  • Professional Development Standards
  • College and Career-Ready Conferences
  • Teacher Induction Program
  • Educator Effectiveness Academies


MSDE has established a number of early childhood initiatives which promote school readiness and student achievement.


MSDE has created a number of resources to provide information to parents and to support the achievement of students with disabilities.


A state-wide Learning Management System that houses resources for Maryland's educators.

Assessing Learning

State Assessments


PARCC assessments measure the content and skills contained in the new Maryland College and Career-Ready Standards.


High School Assessments assess performance in four content areas: English, Algebra/Data Analysis, Government and Biology. Passing the HSA is a graduation requirement.


The Maryland School Assessment (MSA) includes tests of reading, math, and science achievement. These test results provide educators, parents, and the public valuable information about student, school, school system, and state performance.

In This Section:
  • Assessing English Language Arts
  • Assessing Mathematics

In This Section:
  • Practice Tests
  • What HSA Assesses

In This Section:
  • Sample Test Items
  • What MSA Assesses

Classroom Assessments


Teachers need to assess student learning on an ongoing basis so that they will know where their students are at any given time in relationship to the standards being monitored.


The collaborative examination of student work is a critical strategy to diagnose student performance to inform instruction and to ensure that teachers are on the same page about proficient work.

In This Section:
  • Developing a monitoring plan
  • Examining monitoring data
  • Using your monitoring data

In This Section:
  • How do you know what students know?
  • How do you agree on what you are
    looking for?
  • How do you diagnose student performance
    to inform instruction?