New State Data Highlights Student Performance Gains

August 22, 2003
New data released today by the Maryland State Department of Education indicate that the Montgomery County Public Schools met or exceeded all of the standards for Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) on the Maryland School Assessments for every systemwide category, except special education students and students with limited English proficiency -- and even these categories represent a relatively small number of individual schools.

Students also scored comparatively high on a national basis in reading and mathematics, with students scoring as high as the 72nd median percentile nationally.

The AYP standards were met completely by 140 of the school system's 184 comprehensive schools (103 of 125 elementary schools, 25 of 36 middle schools, and 12 of 23 high schools, pending release of upcoming math results that were not released today). In most cases where the standards were not met, the misses were in only one category, either special education, language proficiency, or the federal meal program. In 12 schools, the standards were not met in multiple categories, also in the same categories of students receiving special support services.

All of the elementary, middle, and high schools met the AYP requirements for each of the racial and ethnic groups, including African American and Hispanic students.

“I believe the results provided today underscore the continuing strength of the school system's instructional program at a time when the challenges are significant for principals, teachers, and other staff in addressing the needs of an increasingly diverse student enrollment,” said Dr. Jerry D. Weast, superintendent of schools, in a report to the Board of Education.

In third grade, students scored at the 53rd national median percentile in reading and the 70th percentile in mathematics. In fifth grade, students scored at the 65th percentile in reading and the 70th percentile in mathematics. In the eighth grade, the results were at the 67th and 72nd percentile respectively. At the tenth grade, students scored at the 71st percentile in reading. No data was released today in tenth grade mathematics.

The high level of performance also was reflected in the percentage of students who met both the state's standard for proficient and advanced. In Grade 3, the percentage of students who met the combined standard was 66.3 percent in reading and 75.5 percent in math. In Grade 5, the combined standard was met by 74.7 percent in reading and 67.8 percent in math. In Grade 8, the mark was met by 70.9 percent in reading and 57.5 percent in math. In tenth grade, where only the reading data was available, the combined standard was met by 69.8 percent.

In addition, the satisfactory standard for the graduation rate was met by every high school and systemwide with a rate of 92.5 percent. The system also met the standard for a dropout rate at 2.01 percent last year.

Individual school data is available at the state's website at the link below.

A detailed report is available below as a PDF file that provides a summary of the data reports for the comprehensive schools released today. More detailed information about all schools will be released as the analysis continues.

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