12 county schools hit record highs in AYP

six did not meet standards

July 20, 2010|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

WASHINGTON COUNTY -- Twenty-six of Washington County's 32 public elementary and middle schools met proficiency standards this year, the school system said Tuesday, when 2010 Maryland School Assessment results were released.

Three elementary schools -- Bester, Williamsport and Winter Street -- and three middle schools -- Northern, Springfield and Western Heights -- did not meet proficiency standards, the school system said in a press release.

Last year, every public elementary and middle school in the school system met minimum proficiency levels, known as Adequate Yearly Progress, or AYP.

Adequate Yearly Progress is based on the percentage of students who score at or above the proficiency level on Maryland School Assessment tests. The minimum standard rises each year, as part of the federal No Child Left Behind Act.


Maryland School Assessment reading and math exams are given to students in grades 3 through 8.

Washington County Public Schools said 12 of its schools had record high levels for AYP proficiency this year. Three -- Boonsboro Middle, Fountaindale Elementary and Old Forge Elementary -- have increased their AYP proficiency several years in a row.

"WCPS is pleased that some schools achieved record results, however, we will continue to work with the schools that did not achieve state goals," Superintendent Elizabeth Morgan said in the school district's press release. "Like other Maryland counties, these results are not surprising, given that the state Annual Measurable Objective (AMO) targets continue to increase as we move toward the No Child Left Behind goal that all students will score at proficient levels by 2014."

Bill Reinhard, a spokesman for the Maryland State Department of Education, said Washington County's overall proficiency levels dropped in three areas -- elementary reading, middle school reading and middle school math -- and stayed even in the fourth, elementary math.

Washington County Public Schools said in its press release that the achievement gaps between minority students and white students are diminishing.

For example, in middle school reading, the achievement gap between Hispanic and white students has been reduced by almost 90 percent, or 15.4 percentage points, in the last five years, the press release says.

Similarly, the gap between students from families with different levels of family wealth also is closing.

This year's results are scheduled to be discussed at the Aug. 3 school board meeting.

Staff writer Julie E. Greene contributed to this story.

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