Maryland State


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MSA Performance Level Standards for Reading Grade 7
What basic students likely can do:
  • identify information directly stated in an informational or literary text
  • respond in writing to a question about a text with only minimal textual support
  • identify a main idea of an informational text or a theme of a literary text when that idea or theme is apparent
  • draw conclusions about characters in a literary text
  • recognize the implications of text features (e.g., bulleted list, illustration)
What basic students likely cannot do:
  • draw conclusions about characters in a literary text
  • recognize tone in a text
  • effectively use context clues to define words and phrases
  • move beyond a minimal understanding of literary elements (e.g., setting, characters)
What proficient students likely can do that basic students likely cannot do:
  • demonstrate a general understanding of an informational or literary text
  • recognize an obvious tone in a text
  • determine the meanings of words in context
  • draw conclusions and make inferences about characters and character relationships in a literary text
  • articulate an understanding of setting as related to time and place
What proficient students likely cannot do:
  • articulate a sophisticated understanding of a literary setting
  • analyze author's craft
  • clarify and extend ideas to explore the complexities of a text
  • use textual support effectively to explain ideas about a text
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.