Preliminary Test Scores Show County Making Progress

BERLIN – The preliminary 2007 Maryland School Assessment (MSA) report card for grades 3 through 8 has been released by the Maryland State Department of Education.

Worcester County Public Schools continues to make progress toward achieving 100-percent proficiency in all grade levels and subgroups by 2013, as mandated by the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) legislation.

“All of our stakeholders should celebrate the results of this preliminary release,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Jon Andes. “Our students understand the importance of these assessments and they have embraced the challenge. Our scores speak highly of their efforts. Our teachers and support staff continually adjust and differentiate instruction to ensure that all students meet with success. Our scores reflect their steadfast commitment to our children. Our community, business, and government leaders positively impact our school system by providing support and necessary resources. Our scores demonstrate that their support is working. This is a team effort and the team continues to move in the right direction.”

The results show that the school system’s 2007 MSA Reading scores are higher in every grade level when compared with 2006. In addition, all grade-level reading scores significantly exceed the annually-adjusted goal or Annual Measurable Objective (AMO) which is raised each year as school systems approach 2013. The county’s reading scores per grade level exceed the AMO by a range of 12.9 percentage points to as much as 29.9 percentage points.

The school system’s 2007 MSA Mathematic scores are higher in every grade level, with the exception of third grade, where scores slightly dropped by 2.4 percentage points (from 91.1 in 2006 to 88.7 in 2007). The Grade 3 AMO for the 2007 MSA in mathematics is 66.5. Overall, the school system’s mathematics scores per grade level exceed the AMO by a range of 22.2 percentage points to as much as 35.7 percentage points.

The preliminary 2007 MSA results indicate that achievement gaps are narrowing. Overall, African American students narrowed the achievement gap in half of the grade levels in Reading, and in 4 of the 6 grade levels in Mathematics.

“We appreciate the progress we are making,” said Assistant Superintendent for Instruction Dr. Richard Walker. “However, we won’t be satisfied until our gaps are completely eliminated. We continue to strengthen current strategies and to explore new strategies in order to enhance student achievement for all students, in every subgroup.”

In Worcester County Public Schools, as well as in public school systems across the country, achievement gaps exist between minority groups and the general population; Special Education students and non-Special Education populations; English Language Learners (ELL) and non-ELL populations; students qualifying for Free and Reduced Meals (FARMS) and non-FARMS populations; and between males and females.

Andes said the school system has identified the various achievement gaps and adjusted its focus to address them.

“We continue to face our challenges head-on,” said Andes. “Our goal is and always will be to enable each student to perform at the highest level. Our preliminary 2007 MSA report card tells us that our progress is impressive and building. We continue to have challenges and we will meet those challenges.”