Creative City students score higher than district averages on Math and ELA assessments at the beginning of their 6th Grade year
[January 23, 2022] - This year, Creative City Public Charter School (a K-5 school) conducted an analysis of Beginning-of-Year (BOY) Grade 6 iReady diagnostic scores from former Creative City 5th graders. Three years of Math and ELA data were reviewed. This measure was selected because the September diagnostic captures what students learned in 5th Grade. It also allows comparison with grade-level peers who had attended other elementary schools. In each year reviewed, students from Creative City scored higher than district averages.
Because of COVID-19 interruptions to in-person schooling, there is no standardized testing (PARCC / MCAP) data beyond the 2018-19 school year. This analysis was completed to review student academic success during that time. Third grade is the youngest grade tested in MCAP. Therefore, our youngest test-takers from 18-19 are now in 6th Grade, with no standardized data beyond their 3rd Grade year.
The findings are clear. Comparing Mean Scale Score from the Beginning-of-Year (Window 1) iReady diagnostic in Math and ELA from each of the last three years, we see that Creative City students who are entering 6thGrade and who completed iReady have a mastery of both ELA and Math content that is greater than their grade-level peers across the district. (See Figure 1.) In addition, the degree to which Creative City students exceeded district averages has increased each year for the three years under study, showing that steady improvements to Creative City's instruction of 3rd, 4th, and 5th Graders continue to improve student outcomes.
We also had the opportunity to follow a subset from the above group. Eight (8) Creative City students took the Grade 3 MCAP test at Creative City in Spring, 2019, and then took the Grade 6 Beginning-of-Year iReady diagnostic at Baltimore Design School in Fall, 2021. We had access to student-level data from each of these tests. This subset of students performed well below their district peers in both Math and ELA on their Grade 3 MCAP, but exceeded the district averages on their Grade 6 iReady in both domains. (See Figures 2 & 3.)
This data, and Creative City's academic performance and improvement as a whole, should be viewed in light of the fact that as few as 5% of incoming students (versus 39% of all BCPS students) demonstrate readiness for Kindergarten, according to 2019-20 KRA scores.
Weak MCAP performance in the 2018-19 test cycle (and in years prior) prompted multiple changes to Creative City’s instructional program to improve student outcomes. These changes are now bearing fruit and include:
While MCAP and iReady are not strictly parallel assessments, this metric is the best substitute amidst a lack of other options to measure student growth and success. Both tests measure performance in ELA and Math, both tests are computer-based, and both tests are standardized and adaptive.
FOR ANY QUESTIONS OR FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, contact Marisa Canino, Executive Director, at 443-642-3602 or MCanino@bcps.k12.md.us
 Data sources: BCPS Office of Achievement & Accountability; Baltimore Design School; PARCC records; public KRA records
 While not all middle schools use the iReady diagnostic, a majority of our 5th grade students who remained in Baltimore City schools for middle school (149 out of 175) took iReady in the first quarter of 6th Grade. (58% of these took ELA, 61% took Math)
 In SY21-22, Baltimore Design School received the largest number of 5th graders (19% of total) from Creative City. These students comprised 16% of Baltimore Design School’s 6th grade in 21-22. We were able to access student-level iReady data to support our analysis. We do not yet have student-level data for the remainder of the students in this study.