In Montgomery County
School board unanimous in seeking MSPAP halt
ROCKVILLE - The Montgomery County school board voted unanimously yesterday to ask the state school board and state superintendent to halt Maryland's elementary and middle school testing program until it's changed to give pupils individual scores.
Montgomery educators have raised questions about the 2001 Maryland School Performance Assessment Program results, noting technical problems and concerns over how teachers graded pupils' exams. Scores declined in 20 of 24 of the state's systems, including Montgomery.
The board's resolution was passed less than a week after similar requests to stop the testing were made by the school board's president and vice president. State education officials have said they're confident in this year's test results and plan to continue the current version of the MSPAP exams until they make changes in two or three years.
In Washington County
Hagerstown begins using chlorine to treat sewage
HAGERSTOWN - This city started disinfecting wastewater with chlorine yesterday, ending the release of millions of gallons of largely untreated sewage into a Potomac River tributary, a state environmental official said.
The process involves chlorinating and then dechlorinating 5.7 million gallons of wastewater the plant discharges daily into Antietam Creek. City officials said it could be a month before the preferred process - using microbes to kill harmful germs - resumes.
The biological process was stopped Friday or Saturday by an unidentified chemical solvent that was poured or accidentally released into the sewer system.