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Schools meet federal standards

August 17, 2006|by ERIN JULIUS

WASHINGTON COUNTY - All Washington County elementary and middle schools met adequate yearly progress standards for the second consecutive year, officials announced Wednesday. The schools met federal standards established by the No Child Left Behind Act. The results mean Washington County has no schools deemed "in need of improvement" or "in need of local attention" as determined by the Maryland State Department of Education.

"This phenomenal accomplishment is reason to celebrate," Superintendent Elizabeth Morgan said. "Students, teachers, principals, parents and support staff are to be congratulated for this remarkable achievement."

Adequate yearly progress is determined by students' scores on Maryland School Assessments. Those results were released in June.

To meet adequate yearly progress, a school must hit targets in 19 different areas, said Bob Brown, coordinator of testing and accountability.

At the elementary and middle school level, these include overall ubgroup yearly targets in reading and math scores on the MSA, including yearly attendance standards.

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Subgroup categories include five racial-ethnic categories and three service group categories, such as special education students.

All students in all subgroups take the same test and must meet the same standards, Brown said.

Donna Hanlin, assistant superintendent for secondary instruction, said she was very pleased that all schools had met federal standards for the second year. She said she was not surprised because of efforts by the school system in areas such as professional development, teacher collaboration and targeted interventions.

"We're looking at what teachers need in order to be able to provide what students need," Hanlin said.

Brown also credited the school system's curriculum for the continued success.

"Our instruction in reading and math is aimed at what is on the assessments," Brown said. "It's what (students) ought to know."

Washington County would like to continue to meet adequate yearly progress standards, he said. It will be increasingly challenging each year as the percentage of students who must score at a proficient or advanced level on MSA increases. By 2014, 100 percent of students will be required to score at a proficient or advanced level for a school to meet adequate yearly progress.

About 80 percent of Maryland elementary and middle schools met the targets, according to the Maryland State Department of Education.

High school, county and state adequate yearly progress data will be released later this year.

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