Middle Schools Show Gains in Yearly Progress on State MSA Tests

August 14, 2008
State AYP Results Show Significant Growth in MCPS Middle School Performance, Continued Strong Results Among Elementary Schools

Ninety-five percent of Montgomery County elementary schools and 86 percent of middle schools—up from 71 percent last year—made Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) on the 2008 Maryland School Assessments (MSAs), according to Maryland State Department of Education data released today.

School performance at the middle school level increased significantly, with 33 out of 38 middle schools meeting the testing targets this year compared to 27 of 38 last year. At the elementary school level, 124 out of 130 in Montgomery County met the state performance goal.

“We are very pleased with the rapidly increasing level of performance among our middle schools and with the continued strong performance of our elementary schools,” said Dr. Jerry D. Weast, superintendent of schools. “Our schools are working diligently to help our students not only meet, but exceed the state’s testing targets, as required under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.”

Of the 11 schools at the elementary or middle school level that did not meet AYP, five did not meet the Annual Measurable Objective in one subgroup. Three of these five schools did not meet AMO targets for the special education subgroup—Clopper Mill and Highland View elementary schools, and Rocky Hill Middle School. Two schools did not meet the AMO for the limited English proficiency subgroup—Forest Oak Middle School and Sligo Creek Elementary School. The remaining six schools did not meet the AMO for two or more subgroups.

None of the 23 elementary schools in Montgomery County with the highest poverty levels (Title I) are on the state’s school improvement list.

Parkland Middle School will be placed in Corrective Action this year. A school is placed in Corrective Action if it does not achieve an AMO target for any group or subgroup in the same reported area – reading, mathematics or attendance rates – for a third consecutive year.

AYP determinations are based primarily on MSA scores, which were released last month. The MSA results show that, overall, MCPS students in elementary and middle school achieved their sixth consecutive year of higher test scores. On average, the combined proficiency of students in reading and mathematics indicated that 89.9 percent of elementary students and 87.2 percent of middle school students scored at the proficient or advanced level for 2008.

While the test data show that performance gaps continue among racial/ethnic groups, the gap has significantly narrowed since 2003 between the highest and lowest scoring subgroups. In some cases, the gap in proficiency rates shrank as much as 24 percentage points. Officials note the narrowing of the gap is due to the accelerating rate of proficiency for African American and Hispanic students over the last six years.

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