Board Seeks MSA Administration Date Change

September 24, 2003
The Montgomery County Board of Education has approved a resolution, initiated by the Board president and vice president, requesting that the Maryland Association of Boards of Education (MABE) support an effort to seek postponement of this year’s administration of the Maryland School Assessments (MSAs) from the period February 25, 2004, through March 5, 2004, until a date later in the school year.

The MSAs are statewide tests used to comply with the requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act for school districts to demonstrate Adequate Yearly Progress in selected academic areas. The tests will be administered to students in grades 3 to 8 in reading and mathematics and to students in grade 10 in reading.

The Board resolution asks that MABE request the state superintendent and state Board of Education to postpone this year’s administration of the MSAs to a later date, to be determined after consultation with local boards and local superintendents, and to consider a later date for administration of the MSAs in future years.

The resolution, initiated by Board President Patricia B. O’Neill and Vice President Sharon W. Cox, cites the limitations in the instructional time available to prepare students for the tests caused by a testing period scheduled relatively early in the school year. The loss of instructional days caused by Hurricane Isabel would further impede the efforts of principals and teachers to prepare students for the assessments this school year.

The Maryland Association of Boards of Education will convene in October for its annual meeting. The Montgomery County Board members expressed a hope that other Maryland school districts would join in support of the resolution.

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