County Schools Third in State Testing

NEWARK- The Maryland State Department of Education this week released the Maryland State Assessment (MSA) and High School Assessment (HAS) results for the 2010 testing period and once again Worcester County public schools rose to the top.

The exams are taken each spring to determine whether or not public school students across the state are meeting the required Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) in certain basic core disciplines including reading and mathematics. The testing programs were implemented as a result of the federally mandated No Child Left Behind initiative implemented in 2003.

In each testing period since, Worcester County public schools have soared to the top or near the top in the state in nearly every category. With the release of this year’s results on Wednesday, Worcester schools were ranked third overall in the state, according to Superintendent Dr. Jon Andes.

“When comparing the percent of students system-wide who are achieving at proficient or advanced levels on the 2010 Maryland School Assessments, Worcester County Public Schools rank third overall in the state out of 24 school systems,” he said. “Overall, 90.5 percent of our 2010 test takers scored at the proficient or advanced levels, only three-tenths less than the second highest performing school system.”

Despite the high ranking, Worcester schools overall did not make Adequate Yearly Progress this year, missing the coveted mark by a mere three individual test scores.

“As the performance standards near 100 percent proficiency, the ‘all or none’ philosophy of No Child Left Behind becomes even more evident,” said Assistant Superintendent for Instruction Dr. John Gaddis. “The fact that we rank in the top three in the state, yet we missed making AYP by three test scores, highlights the reality that the difference between making AYP and not making AYP can be an extremely slim margin.”