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MarylandCAN News Roundup: Top 10 Education News Stories of the Week

MarylandCAN Top 10 Ed News Stories of the Week

1. Stuck in place

July 10, 2012 | Editorial Board, The Baltimore Sun

The results of this year's Maryland School Assessments test, which show Baltimore City schools making only marginal progress on standardized test scores over last year, are troubling because they seem to suggest that the ambitious reforms begun five years ago by schools CEO Andrés Alonso may be running out of steam. The percentage of city students scoring proficient or better in reading and math is almost unchanged over last year, when the district saw its first decline since 2007. School officials need to seriously ask themselves whether the changes Mr. Alonso has implemented are enough to keep moving the system forward, or whether they already have produced all the results they're likely to achieve and the system needs to look at other approaches to realize further progress.

Read more here

2. Who's learning among Maryland students

July 10, 2012 | Editorial Board, The Washington Post

Analysis of data from the Maryland State Department of Education shows that higher rates of math and reading proficiency occur among elementary school students than middle school students.

Read more here

3. Howard County MSA scores similar to 2011

July 10, 2012 | Brian Hooks, Savage-Guilford Patch


The Maryland State Department of Education released scores for school districts in the 2012 Maryland State Assessment (MSA) and the Howard County Public School System mostly saw slight increases, but not without a hitch.

Two schools in the HCPSS system–Clarksville Middle School in Clarksville and Mount View Middle School in Marriottsville–failed to meet requirements in their special education groups, according to a HCPSS press release. But, according to county school officials, there was an error in calculating the proficiency scores and they will be recalculated by the state.

Read more here

4. Howards middle school MSA reading score declines

July 10, 2012 | Sara Toth, The Baltimore Sun



Howard County students are still performing better than their counterparts across the state when it comes to the Maryland School Assessment scores, but this year's results, released Tuesday by the Maryland State Department of Education, showed a decline in middle school reading.

The MSA exams in reading and math are given to students in the third through eighth grades, and the results are ranked in the categories of basic, proficient and advanced — the latter two of which constitute a passing score.

Read more here

5. MSAs show Balt. Co. gains in elementary, but declines in middle school reading

July 10, 2012 | Editorial Board, The Baltimore Sun

 

Baltimore County Public Schools saw gains in student performance on state elementary reading and maths scores this year, but also saw a slight decline in middle school reading scores, according to the 2012 Maryland State Assessment scores released Tuesday, July 10.

MSA exams in reading and math are given to students in the third through eighth grades, and the results are ranked in the categories of basic, proficient and advanced — the latter two of which constitute a passing score.

Read more here

6. Md. school test scores edge up in Montgomery, Prince George’s schools

July 10, 2012 | Michael Alison Chandler, Ovetta Wiggins and Ted Mellnik, The Baltimore Sun

 

State test scores for elementary and middle schools in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties continued to inch — or, in some cases, centimeter — upward this year as most schools in Maryland reached new academic targets.

A Washington Post analysis of test data that state officials released Tuesday shows that nearly 91 percent of Montgomery elementary students passed the 2012 Maryland School Assessments in reading and math. That was up about two percentage points from 2008, and four-tenths of a percentage point higher than last year.

Read more here

7. The opportunity gap

July 9, 2012 | David Brooks, The New York Times

Over the past few months, writers from Charles Murray to Timothy Noah have produced alarming work on the growing bifurcation of American society. Now the eminent Harvard political scientist Robert Putnam and his team are coming out with research that’s more horrifying.

While most studies look at inequality of outcomes among adults and help us understand how America is coming apart, Putnam’s group looked at inequality of opportunities among children. They help us understand what the country will look like in the decades ahead. The quick answer? More divided than ever.

Read more here

8. School is too easy, students report

July 9, 2012 | Greg Toppo, USA Today

 

Millions of kids simply don't find school very challenging, a new analysis of federal survey data suggests. The report could spark a debate about whether new academic standards being piloted nationwide might make a difference.

The findings, out today from the Center for American Progress, a Washington think tank that champions "progressive ideas," analyze three years of questionnaires from the Department of Education's National Assessment of Educational Progress, a national test given each year.

Read more here

9. New Maryland superintendent aims high for schools

July 8, 2012 | Michael Alison Chandler, The Washington Post

 

In between unpacking boxes and mugging for her state photo ID badge, Lillian M. Lowery spent her first week as Maryland superintendent of schools in back-to-back briefings about a long list of reforms that are transforming public education across the state.

The former Delaware schools chief learned about the status of new national learning standards, the development of controversial new teacher evaluations and a changing accountability system that the U.S. Education Department approved in May.

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10. Bad behavior shouldn’t earn a day off

July 6, 2012 | Editorial Board, Gazette.Net

State senator’s plan to keep disobedient students in classes is worthy, but likely not affordable

It just doesn’t make sense: Students misbehave in school and are, in a sense, rewarded with suspension — essentially sent home to take a break from their education, often with no supervision during the day.

Read more here

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