Results of Maryland School Assessments Continue To Show Steady Progress

July 21, 2009
No Title I Schools are on School Improvement List; Four Schools Exit School Improvement

In 2009, Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) students in elementary and middle school, overall, continued to achieve high levels of proficiency on the Maryland School Assessments (MSAs), and in many instances, achievement gaps between subgroups continued to narrow. Ninety-eight percent of Montgomery County elementary schools and 68 percent of middle schools made Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) on the 2009 MSAs, according to Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) data.

“We are very pleased that the achievement gap among various demographic groups continues to narrow and that none of our Title I schools is in School Improvement,” said Shirley Brandman, president of the Board of Education.

“Our students have shown steady gains on the state assessments over the past seven years,” said Dr. Jerry D. Weast, superintendent of schools. “We are pleased with the progress, but know that we have much more work to do to ensure that every child is ready for college. An important goal now is to help more of our students reach advanced levels on the MSA.”

Adequate Yearly Progress
At the elementary school level, 127 out of 130 schools in Montgomery County met the state performance goal—an overall success rate of 98 percent compared with 95 percent in 2008. For the fifth consecutive year, none of the elementary schools in Montgomery County with the highest poverty levels (Title I) are on the state’s School Improvement list. In addition, four schools exited School Improvement for 2009–2010.

At the middle school level, 26 out of 38 schools met AYP—an overall success rate of 68 percent, compared with 86 percent in 2008. Three of the 12 schools not making AYP would have achieved it had the same process used in 2008 been used in 2009. The implementation of Modified Maryland School Assessments (Mod-MSAs) and the low pass rate (38.9 percent in reading and 23.1 percent in mathematics) on this new assessment likely contributed to the increased number of middle schools not meeting AYP in 2009.

Schools that did not meet every one of the overall or subgroup targets in a particular reported area (mathematics or reading) for two or more consecutive years are identified for School Improvement. Schools exit School Improvement if they meet every one of the area and subgroup targets for two consecutive years.

The four schools exiting School Improvement this year, having met every AYP target overall and for each subgroup for two consecutive years are:

Briggs Chaney Middle School
Lakelands Park Middle School
Newport Mill Middle School
Silver Spring International Middle School

The following two schools currently in school improvement met all AYP targets this year, and if they do so again next year, they will exit School Improvement in 2010:

Captain James E. Daly Elementary School (Year 1)
Parkland Middle School (Corrective Action)

Of the schools at the elementary or middle school level that did not meet AYP, 12 were identified for local attention and are not in school improvement. Schools requiring local attention fall into two categories: (1) schools that did not achieve AYP for the first time or (2) schools that met the target in the reported area missed in 2008 but did not meet the target in a different reported area in 2009. The following schools were identified as requiring local attention:

A. Mario Loiederman Middle School
Argyle Middle School
Carl Sandburg Center
Eastern Middle School
Flower Hill Elementary School
Julius West Middle School
Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School
Montgomery Village Middle School
Roberto W. Clemente Middle School
Sligo Middle School
Summit Hall Elementary School
Waters Landing Elementary School

Under a new Differentiated Accountability pilot program implemented by MSDE, there is now a distinction made based on the number of years a school has been in School Improvement (Developing Stage versus a more severe Priority Stage), as well as the group or number of subgroups that did not meet the annual targets in a given year (Focused Needs versus Comprehensive Needs). No MCPS school is in the Priority Stage.

Four schools were identified for School Improvement, indicating that they did not achieve all targets in the same reported area for two consecutive years or more:

Gaithersburg Middle School—Developing Focused Needs (Year 1)
Benjamin Banneker Middle School—Developing Comprehensive Needs (Year 2)
Forest Oak Middle School—Developing Focused Needs (Year 2)
Neelsville Middle School—Developing Focused Needs (Corrective Action)

MSA Results
AYP determinations are based on MSA scores in reading and mathematics, as well as attendance levels. In 2009, students in elementary and middle schools, overall, continued to achieve the high levels of proficiency observed in 2008. Among MCPS elementary students, 90.9 percent scored at the proficient or advanced level for reading and 87.9 percent for mathematics. Among middle school students, 88.2 percent scored at the proficient or advanced level for reading and 77.7 percent for mathematics. Changes in proficiency rates for reading are especially impressive in Grades 3 and 8, with one-year gains of 2.5 and 4.1 percentage points, respectively.

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—with an accelerating rate of proficiency among African American and Hispanic students. Some examples are noted below.

At the elementary level, the largest one-year gains in mathematics of 1.4 percentage points were attained by both African American and Hispanic students.
At the middle school level, African American students attained the largest one-year gain in mathematics of 3.3 percentage points.

At the elementary level, the largest one-year gain in reading of 2.3 percentage points was attained by Hispanic students.
At the middle school level, the largest one-year gains in reading of 3.8 percentage points were attained by both African American and Hispanic students.

Attached is a complete list of the schools exiting School Improvement, identified for School Improvement or requiring local attention. Also attached are slides illustrating the narrowing of the achievement gap.

Related Documents
AYP Status

MSA Results

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