MCPS releases semester one performance data


Davi Jacobs

Student enrollment in MCPS for the 2022-23 school year increased from the 2021-22 school year.

Cindy Jin, News Writer

Earlier this year, MCPS leadership held a press briefing to discuss student data, enrollment numbers and Advanced Placement and SAT exam performance for the first uninterrupted school year since the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, 2022 AP and IB course enrollment and exam participation reports were available for public viewership on the official MCPS website in February. 

Other corresponding informational documents produced by the Office of Shared Accountability Reports included general student enrollment as of Sep. 30, 2022, and comparison data from the pandemic. Additionally, on Jan. 24, the Maryland State Department of Education released results from the Spring 2022 ELA and Mathematics MCAP testing.  

According to the Report of Enrollment by Grade and School, MCPS reported a total of 72,370 elementary students, 35,856 middle students and 51,950 high school students, which adds up to a total of 160,554 students for the 2022-2023 school year. This is 2,322 more than in the 2021-2022 school year, which was heavily impacted by the pandemic that occurred a year prior. In the 2020-2021 school year, which was entirely virtual, student enrollment was 4,703 less than pre-pandemic numbers gathered in 2019. Although student enrollment percentages have not risen back to that of previous years, there have been notable increases this school year.

Johnathan Taylor, an AP U.S. Government & Politics and Law teacher at RM, also offered insight on the pandemic’s effects on student accomplishments.

“I think students were far better prepared for the start of this school year versus the beginning of last school year. […] I remember I spoke with a couple of my freshmen last year, [and a] number of them were very candid, open and honest about sharing [that] this has been a very difficult transition,” Mr. Taylor said regarding the change between virtual and in-person school. 

As provided by a Memorandum by the Director of the Office of Shared Accountability, AP and IB testing protocol was adapted to meet the needs of those impacted by the pandemic. However, in 2021, during the peak of the virus, and during online school, the number of AP exam takers was still much lower than in 2020—with only 31,750 as opposed to 39,254 before the pandemic. Despite the momentary dip, last year’s participation increased again, with 33,291 exams taken by students in MCPS. Moreover, as the second semester begins and the date for 2023’s AP exams draws nearer, higher AP exam participation rates can be anticipated. 

Another piece of data from 2022 shows that the number of AP exams taken by students with a passing score of 3 or higher was 72.4 percent, which is a 4.3 percent increase from 68.1 percent recorded in 2021. Despite this increase, students at RM experience apprehension about the upcoming exam, especially after the turbulence of the pandemic.

“I’m nervous, but I’m less nervous this time since I took one AP last year so I kind of know what to expect. But it’s still a stressful experience,” sophomore Jaymie Donohue said.