Most schools make progress on state tests
Evergreen, Oakville just miss special-ed goals
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
All St. Mary's middle schools and all but two elementary schools reached state goals based on last spring's performance on the Maryland School Assessments.
Evergreen Elementary School did not make what is called adequate yearly progress because not enough special education students scored proficient on both the state standardized reading and math tests. Oakville fell short for special education students in reading only.
The Maryland State Department of Education released Tuesday the pass rates from the Maryland School Assessments for elementary and middle schools, along with determinations of which schools made progress.
Schools can meet adequate yearly progress goals by increasing assessment test scores year to year, and these benchmarks have become a major focus for teachers. Passing rates must increase for the overall school as well as various subgroups based on race and special services received.
Overall this year, St. Mary's elementary and middle schools scored higher than state averages. Elementary pass rates flirted with the 90 percent mark on both the reading and math tests while middle schools were solidly in the mid-80 percent pass rate.
The numbers for St. Mary's elementary and middle schools were lower in both reading and math than Calvert public schools; however, St. Mary's did score higher than Charles public schools.
"Our results show a system on the move, as our students master content and reach advanced understanding," Superintendent Michael Martirano said in a prepared statement. "Our elementary schools continue to have excellent outcomes, and to have the four middle schools make AYP for all student groups is a rich reward for all of the hard work that has gone on this year. I have seen the individual efforts made on behalf of each child, the diligence of teachers using data to drive instruction, and the never quit attitude of school leadership — all of this has made our results enviable."
Both Evergreen and Oakville schools essentially missed making their goals on the reading tests by one student each. Adequate yearly progress is designed so that if any one subgroup does not make its target, the entire school is considered not making adequate progress.
At Oakville, 62.9 percent of special education students tested scored proficient; the school needed 64 percent to pass based on its population.
Evergreen was just as close, with 60.6 percent of its special education students having scored proficient on the reading test; the goal was at least 62.5 percent.
Evergreen also failed to meet its goal in math for special education students, coming up three students short, with only 51.5 percent of the group scoring proficient.
In 2009 all of St. Mary's elementary schools met those goals, but three out of four middle schools in the county — Spring Ridge, Leonardtown and Margaret Brent — came up short. Those three schools plus Esperanza Middle School did make all of the goals for progress this year.
Spring Ridge has made all of its goals twice in the last eight years. The school was placed on corrective action several years ago and resources, including money, extra staff and new programs, have been poured into the school to try and improve academic results. If Spring Ridge can make adequate yearly progress for two consecutive years, it would be removed from the state's watch list.
Under federal requirements, all students must score at the proficient level or higher on state tests by 2014.
"Targets continue to increase as we move toward the 2014 date, making it more difficult each year for our schools and systems to meet them, but our educators have done an outstanding job," State Superintendent of Schools Nancy Grasmick said in a prepared statement.
How the numbers compare
Percent of St. Mary's students who were proficient or advanced over the last two years of MSA testing
Elementary school reading 89.3 89.5
Elementary school math 89.8 87.9
Middle school reading 85.9 83.0
Middle school math 82.7 82.1
Source: Maryland State Department of Education