Maryland State


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MSA Performance Level Standards for Reading Grade 6
What basic students likely can do:
  • demonstrate a minimal to literal understanding of a grade-appropriate informational or literary text
  • respond to questions about a text with only minimal supporting textual evidence
  • apply basic understanding of narrative elements in a literary text (e.g., sequence, character relationships)
  • determine meanings of words in context
  • make simple predictions and draw simple conclusions based on information in a text
  • recognize a main idea and identify information not related to a main idea
  • apply basic word-level knowledge to identify word meaning and usage
What basic students likely cannot do:
  • recognize an organizational pattern in an informational text
  • apply understanding of author's choice of language to make meaning of text
  • provide adequate text-relevant information or evidence to support an idea or a conclusion about a text
What proficient students likely can do that basic students likely cannot do:
  • demonstrate a general understanding of a literary or informational text
  • use textual evidence to draw conclusions about narrative elements in a literary text (e.g., mood, characters)
  • determine the meanings of words and expressions in context (e.g., idioms, common expressions, synonyms)
  • recognize an author's opinion in an informational text and determine the purpose of a text or portion of text
  • identify an organizational pattern of an informational text
  • provide some textual support for an idea of conclusion about a text
What proficient students likely cannot do:
  • explain an organizational pattern of an informational text
  • recognize the implications of an author's specific language choices
  • extend ideas or information in a text in order to discover the text's complexities
What advanced students likely can do that proficient students likely cannot do:
  • interpret effectively an author's choice of words and phrases
  • use effectively supporting evidence from a text to clarify or extend ideas
  • analyze and explain an organizational pattern of an informational text by using effective textual evidence

Performance Level Standards

Standards are measures of performance against which yearly results are compared. Standards help to examine critical aspects of instructional programs; help to ensure that all students receive quality instruction; hold educators accountable for quality instruction; and help to guide efforts toward school improvement.

Maryland School Performance Program (MSPP) performance standards were determined through deliberative processes by educators with involvement of critical stakeholders such as the legislators and members of the business community. The State Board of Education adopted all standards.

The purpose of the MSPP standards is to:

  • provide statewide equity and quality assurance in terms of student outcomes;
  • establish a mechanism for instructional accountability useful to schools, school systems, and the state;
  • stimulate self-examination and appropriate action by local district staff and the Maryland State Department of Education; and
  • set improvement expectations that guide school and school system objectives, decision, and efforts.

Maryland standards are divided into three levels of achievement:

  • Advanced is a highly challenging and exemplary level of achievement indicating outstanding accomplishment in meeting the needs of students.
  • Proficient is a realistic and rigorous level of achievement indicating proficiency in meeting the needs of students.
  • Basic is a level of achievement indicating that more work is needed to attain proficiency in meeting the needs of students.

MSA Performance Level Descriptors

Reading 345678
Mathematics 345678
Algebra / Data Analysis
Science 58

Other Performance Level Standards

Performance Level Standards for ALT-MSA
Performance Level Standards for MOD-MSA

Standards for the MFTs, Attendance Rate, and Dropout Rate were adopted in 1990.