Friday, August 15, 2008

Schools achieve AYP on state tests

Well first look the press release from CCPS is a little deceiving. Actually all elementary schools met AYP and all but one middle school met AYP. (High school not released yet.) See the actual press release below.

All Charles County Public Schools elementary schools and seven middle schools met Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP), according to Maryland State Department of Education data released today. No county schools are on the state watch list. The state has not released high school or system AYP results.

AYP is determined by student results on the Maryland School Assessments (MSA) taken by students in grades 3-8 in April. AYP is the gain that schools must make each year in proportion to students achieving proficiency in reading and math. Under the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB), schools must show progress across all grade levels and in all race/ethnicity and special services categories--special education, limited English proficient, and economically disadvantaged students.

If a school is unable to make progress in all areas, including attendance, for two consecutive years, it is identified for School Improvement status and faces a variety of requirements designed to bring about improvements. Schools unable to make progress in all areas for one year are named as needing local attention, but do not face any state mandates or intervention. No Charles County schools are on the school improvement list. Charles County is one of the few counties in the state that has never had a school on the state school improvement list.

One school, Mattawoman Middle School, was identified as needing local attention, meaning they achieved their Annual Measurable Objectives (AMO) last year, but fell short this year. Mattawoman did not achieve AMO in three subgroup areas: African American math, free and reduced meals (FARMS) math, and special education math. This is the first year since 2003, when the state mandated the exams, that Mattawoman has missed its targets. Last year, seven schools were identified as needing local attention, but each of those schools made significant progress this year and met AYP.

"Most of our schools and students are making the progress required by the state, but we continue to focus our efforts to ensure that all children are succeeding. We have reviewed the results from each school and we are addressing areas where the testing shows we need improvement," said James E. Richmond, superintendent of schools.

Statewide, system and local school data are now available on the Maryland State Department of Education's report card,

The MSA exams are given in the spring to third through eighth grade students in reading and mathematics.

In the coming months, the Maryland State Department of Education will release High School Assessment scores, and graduation numbers. High school students take High School Assessments, and starting with this year's graduating seniors - the class of 2009 - students must pass four tests - English II, biology, local, state and national government (LSN) and algebra - in order to graduate.

Charles County Public Schools Maryland State Assessment Facts (AYP and MSA)

  • The state defines AYP as the cornerstone of Maryland's new accountability system and replaces the School Performance Index as the method by which Maryland tracks academic progress. Schools and school systems must show that students are making AYP in reading, mathematics, attendance (elementary and middle schools) and graduation rate (high schools)
  • No Charles County middle or elementary public schools are on the state's school improvement list, which includes schools that have not met standards for two consecutive years and are not improving. One school has been identified as needing local attention, a designation given to schools that miss making adequate improvement in any area for one year. Information on high school scores and AYP will not be available until the fall.
  • AYP requirements include scores for reading and mathematics for all students as well as subgroups of students. Student achievement is reported in the aggregate (all students) as well as eight subgroups of students. Subgroups are: American Indian/Alaskan Native, Asian/Pacific Islander, African American, White (not of Hispanic origin), Hispanic, students receiving free and reduced meals, special education and Limited English Proficient.

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