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21 Washington County elementary, six middle schools beat state scores on science test

August 02, 2011|By JULIE E. GREENE | julieg@herald-mail.com

WASHINGTON COUNTY — Twenty-one of 24 Washington County public elementary schools and six of eight middle schools had higher proficiency rates than the statewide rate on the science assessment test taken last school year, according to results posted on a state education website.

Statewide, 66.8 percent of fifth-graders scored proficient or advanced on the test, according to the Maryland State Department of Education and documents presented Tuesday to the Washington County Board of Education during a meeting at the central office off Commonwealth Avenue in Hagerstown.

Statewide, 69.5 percent of eighth-graders statewide scored proficient or advanced on the science test.

Unlike the math and reading Maryland School Assessment results, the science results do not count toward meeting “adequate yearly progress,” or AYP, for the school system, individual schools or demographic subgroups at the schools.

The reading and math tests are given in grades three through eight, while the science tests are given in grades five and eight.

Sandy Graff, supervisor of secondary science, told board members that there is no plan to have the science test results count toward AYP in the future.

AYP is a standard set under President George W. Bush’s administration’s No Child Left Behind education initiative.

The current science standards in the Maryland state curriculum focus on skills and processes of science; Earth space science; life science; chemistry; physics; and environmental science, according to presentation documents.

Sharpsburg Elementary had the highest fifth-grade science proficiency rating in the county, with 93.9 percent of its students scoring proficient or advanced, according to results available at www.mdreportcard.org.

Clear Spring Middle has the highest eighth-grade science proficiency rating in the county, with 88.7 percent scoring proficient or advanced.

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