Reading Skills are Up; Performance Gap Narrows

March 3, 2005
News Conference to Highlight Dramatic Improvement in Reading Skills of Grades K-2 Students

For the first time ever, more than 71 percent of Kindergarten, Grade 1, and Grade 2 students are achieving at or above grade-level benchmarks in reading. Over the last three years, African American and Hispanic students have significantly narrowed the achievement gap and are making the largest percentage gains in reading skills. In fact, the difference between African American and White students at the Kindergarten level has shrunk to only 6 percentage points.

A news conference highlightling these findings will take place at New Hampshire Estates Elementary School on Monday, March 7, at 11:00 a.m.

The findings are part of an ongoing series of Montgomery County Public Schools studies that has followed primary students beginning with the Kindergarten class of 2001-- the first year of comprehensive early childhood education reforms implemented by Superintendent of Schools Jerry D. Weast.

Among those attending the press conference will be Board of Education President Patricia B. O'Neill, Vice President Charles Haughey, members Sharon Cox and Nancy Navarro; Superintendent of Schools Jerry D. Weast; Montgomery County Council President Tom Perez; leaders of the MCPS employee associations; and PTA representatives.

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