MSA Scores in Charles County Remain Steady

LA PLATA, Md. (July 21, 2009)—Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) reading and mathematics scores on the Maryland School Assessment (MSA) remain steady, according to results released this week by the Maryland State Department of Education. Most schools met adequate yearly progress (AYP) and overall school goals. Six of 29 elementary and middle schools missed making AYP in one or more subgroup areas. High school data will be released later this summer.

Scores are reported for a total of 12 tests, six reading and six math, taken in March by students in grades three through eight. Scores are expressed as the percentage of students who scored at or above the proficiency levels set when the exams started in 2003. The school system met annual measurable objective (AMO) in 454 of 463 subgroups. The annual measurable objective is the yearly benchmark established by the state for school systems to meet their goals by 2014.

Composite MSA reading proficiency at the elementary grades has risen more than 23 percentage points since 2003, and composite elementary mathematics proficiency has increased by 20 points. Composite middle school reading proficiency has increased 17.5 percentage points since 2003, while composite middle school math proficiency has risen 33.8 points.

At the middle school level, the most significant gains were made in eighth grade, where students increased scores in both reading and math. Seventh-grade students increased math scores by 4.3 points but declined 2.8 points in reading. At the elementary level, scores remained steady with no gain or loss above 2.7 points.

Mattawoman Middle School did not meet its annual measurable objective in the free and reduced price meals (FARMS) reading subgroup, causing it to miss making AYP as a school. However, the school met AMO for all students combined and for 18 of the 19 required subgroups. It is the second consecutive year that the school has not met AYP in a reading content subgroup; therefore it enters the first of two years of school improvement. Mattawoman must meet AYP for the next two years to exit school improvement.

No Child Left Behind (NCLB) charts the progress of the overall student population in the grades tested, as well as for students receiving three categories of special services: FARMS, Special Education and English Language Learners. It also follows the success of students in five racial subgroups: American Indian/Alaskan Native, Asian/Pacific Islander, African-American, White and Hispanic.

Superintendent James E. Richmond said the rising targets set forth in federal law make it more challenging each year for schools to meet the goals, but many of our schools are reaching the high 80 and 90 percent proficient levels. Additionally, we continue to work with all children for success, and hard work in the classroom continues to benefit students and improve instruction.

Other schools missing AYP in one or more subgroups this year are: Gale-Bailey Elementary School, Theodore G. Davis Middle School, John Hanson Middle School, Matthew Henson Middle School and General Smallwood Middle School.

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

The MSA exams are given to third- through eighth-grade students in reading and mathematics, as well as to high school students in English and algebra courses. This initial round of data is used to meet federal NCLB requirements. Under NCLB goals, all students must score at proficient levels on state tests by 2014.

In the coming months, the Maryland State Department of Education will release algebra and English II data, High School Assessments, system AYP, attendance and graduation numbers.

Source: Charles County public school system

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