Bannockburn Elementary School Credit: via mcps

Bannockburn Elementary School in Bethesda is the top-performing elementary school in the state, according to new data released Tuesday.

Bannockburn, on Dalroy Lane, received the most points of any elementary school in the state — 88 out of a possible 100 — on this year’s Maryland State Department of Education accountability model.

The state last year revealed a revamped state report card that measures each individual school’s success based on factors such as chronic absenteeism, graduation rates, access to a well-rounded education and achievement on state tests.

The report card model assigns each school a rating ranging from one to five stars. Each school was also assigned a percentile rank, comparing its performance to all other Maryland schools of the same level. A more thorough breakdown of how schools fared in each category was expected to be released Tuesday afternoon.

Two other Montgomery County elementary schools — Wayside in Potomac and Wyngate in Bethesda — ranked among the state’s 10 best.

Meanwhile, 37 Montgomery elementary schools were ranked among the bottom 50% statewide. Clopper Mill in Germantown and Watkins Mill in Montgomery Village were in the bottom 5%.


The state’s lowest-performing schools — those in the bottom 5% — will be tabbed by the state as needing “comprehensive support.” Those schools’ staffs will work with MSDE to develop improvement plans.

Herbert Hoover in Potomac was the top-performing middle school in Montgomery County, at number 16 statewide. Twenty-one of the county’s 40 middle schools ranked in the bottom 50% statewide, but none was among the bottom 10%.

Similarly, Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda was the county’s best high school, according to the state report cards. Whitman was number 11 in the state.


Nine high schools were among the bottom 50% of high schools statewide, but none was in the bottom 20%. The poorest performing high school was Watkins Mill High School in Gaithersburg.

Countywide, 134 schools received four or more stars on the five-star scale. One school received one star, nine received two stars and 52 received three stars.

Last year, 152 schools received four or more stars. One school received one star, three received two stars and 39 received three stars.


This year’s ratings included a section that showed whether a school improved in each category, compared to the previous year. It also included data about elementary and middle school students’ performance on state science tests and information about how each student demographic group performed.

State Superintendent of Schools Karen Salmon said in a statement that the new features of the 2019 Maryland School Report Card are integral to documenting schools’ improvement and equity, which are two of the highest priorities of MSDE.

“When we unveiled the new Maryland Report Card last year, we envisioned that this tool would evolve to remain relevant and important in school improvement efforts statewide,” Salmon wrote. “We hope this will help everyone gain a better understanding of how each school is doing, and provide inspiration about how we can work together to make our schools the best they can be for all students.”


In a statement, Superintendent Jack Smith said an MCPS-developed dataset, called The Equity Accountability Model, provides a more accurate representation of county students’ academic performance.

“While the addition of new performance indicators allow districts across the state to better understand how well schools are serving students, the Report Card continues to provide a limited view of the progress of our more than 165,000 students,” Smith wrote in his statement. “To better understand how our schools are serving all of our students, MCPS has developed an Equity Accountability Model that provides a more detailed and focused report of school success. The Equity Accountability Model uses multiple and frequent measures of students’ progress to determine if a school is meeting the needs of ALL students, with a special emphasis on reducing and eliminating disparities in student achievement.”

Caitlynn Peetz can be reached at