Academic Achievement

Relative to other states, student performance in Maryland is very strong. Fourth graders score 11 percentage points higher than the national average of 34% in the percentage at or above the proficient level on the NAEP reading exam. 

Academic Achievement for Low-Income and Minority Students

Maryland earns a very high grade on academic achievement for low-income and minority students. Thirty-five percent of Hispanic 4th graders score at or above the proficient level on the NAEP reading exam, 15% above the national average.

Return on Investment

Student achievement in Maryland is middling relative to state spending after controlling for cost of living.

Truth in Advertising: Student Proficiency

Maryland posts mediocre marks on the credibility of its student proficiency scores. The grade is based on the difference between the percentage of students identified as proficient in reading and math on the 2011 state exams and the percentage identified as proficient on the 2011 NAEP reading and math tests.

Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness

Maryland earns an excellent grade preparing its students for college and careers, scoring among the highest in the country. Thirty students out of 100 pass an AP exam.   

21st Century Teacher Force

Maryland does a poor job of creating a strong teacher workforce. The Old Line State is particularly weak at removing ineffective teachers.

Parental Options

Maryland receives a failing grade providing parents with strong school choice options, largely due to one of the weakest charter schools laws in the country. The law severely limits the presence of new providers. 

Data Quality

Maryland earns a very good grade collecting and reporting high-quality education data. It created policies and provided funding to build a longitudinal data system and links student performance with teacher data.


Maryland receives an average grade employing technology to provide quality instruction and personalized learning. Students have some access to high-quality digital learning options, but the state could continue to build the necessary infrastructure as well as improve how it assesses and funds digital learning providers.   

International Competitiveness

Maryland earns a very high grade preparing its students to compete in a global economy. Out of 100 students, 15.8 pass an AP STEM exam, the second highest in the country. 

Fiscal Responsibility

Maryland receives very low marks on fiscal responsibility. Only 64% of the state’s pension is funded.