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Charles County Students Continue Improvement On State Tests
Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) elementary and middle school students continue to show improvement on the reading and mathematics Maryland School Assessment (MSA), according to data released today by the Maryland State Department of Education. In elementary schools, 86.7 percent of students scored proficient or advanced on the reading MSA and 85.4 percent on the mathematics test. In middle schools, 82.9 percent of students scored proficient or advanced on the reading MSA and 80.6 percent on the mathematics test.
The scores continue the steady progress made over the past nine years. Composite elementary reading scores have increased 22.2 points since 2003 when the test first started. Elementary mathematics proficiency has increased by 20.2 points. Composite middle school reading scores are up 16.7 points since 2003, and mathematics has risen 34.5 points.
The MSA scores released today are the first reported under Maryland’s recently granted flexibility regarding the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law. Under NCLB, all students must be scoring at proficient levels by 2014, and progress toward that goal was measured statewide by Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). Under Maryland’s new “School Progress” plan, each school is measured against its own targets, and must work to increase academic achievement across all subgroups. The annual measurable objective (AMO) is the performance target that assesses the progress of student subgroups, schools, school systems and the state annually, according to MSDE. The annual measurement requires that the non-proficient students will be reduced by 50 percent in reading/language arts and mathematics by the end of the school year in 2016-17.
“The change in the measurement maintains high accountability for students, staff and schools. It focuses on academic achievement and growth to determine if a school is meeting its goals. There is still a focus on the success of all students and monitoring of each subgroup of students and their achievement, but it removes the one size fits all requirement used by AYP. This allows schools to work to focus its improvement plans to include instructional interventions with any subgroup of students not meeting goals,” said Superintendent James E. Richmond.
Maryland’s State Curriculum is being updated through the State’s involvement in the Common Core State Standards program. Maryland joined 44 other states and the District of Columbia in developing rigorous new standards in reading/English language arts and mathematics designed to better prepare students for careers and college. Charles County Public Schools is implementing the Common Core standards beginning this school year.
“I am pleased to see continued steady growth in the achievement of our students, and the implementation of the Common Core State Standards in the coming school year will continue to raise the standard of academic excellence and rigor for all students,” Richmond said.
MSA scores are reported for a total of 12 tests, six reading and six math, taken in March by students in grades three through eight. Scores are expressed as the percentage of students who scored at or above proficiency levels. The annual measurable objective (AMO) is the yearly benchmark established by the state for school systems to meet their goals by 2017.
Annual Measurable Objectives
- Overall, 19 of Charles County Public Schools 29 elementary and middle schools met all testing targets and met AMO for all students and subgroups.
- Under the School Progress calculation, 65.5 percent of Charles County elementary and middle schools met the AMO targets for this baseline year. The targets will continue to rise over through the next six years.
- Dr. James Craik Elementary School students earnednearly perfect scores in both reading and math, reaching 99.6 in reading and 97.8 in math.
- C. Paul Barnhart Elementary School, which was placed in the School Choice category of the School Improvement category last year, met it’s AMO this year for all students and all subgroups.
- The reporting changes eliminate the categories of “School Improvement,” under which schools were sanctioned for not making progress. The requirement for restructuring and other sanctions is no longer part of the equation. Students zoned for Barnhart who opted to take school choice last year have been offered the option to continue at their current school until the end of fifth grade; however, parents must now provide their own transportation.
High School Assessment (HSA) scores, graduation rates, and attendance figures will be released by the state in the next several months. High school and systemwide information will be available when the HSA scores are released.
“These results represent another step forward for Maryland public schools, and clearly reveal that our schools continue to place the proper emphasis on providing strong instruction for all students,” said State Superintendent of Schools Lillian M. Lowery in a release from MSDE. “Our teachers, our administrators, our parents, and our students are working together to move schools forward. Education is the cornerstone to Maryland’s future, and I believe we’re building a strong foundation for decades to come.”
Charles County Public Schools scores, by elementary and middle school can be found on the MSDE report card website, www.mdreportcard.org or from the Charles County Public Schools website at http://www2.ccboe.com/msa/msa.cfm
Charles County Public Schools provides 26,700 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 35 caring community schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.
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