Baltimore schools fail MSA standards

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Joining the other 23 school districts in the state, the Baltimore City school system failed to meet the standard of progress on the new Maryland School Assessment exams, according to results released last week.

In the core subjects of reading and math, the city school district did not meet proficiency standards set by the State Department of Education. To meet the standard, a specified percentage of students in a school had to pass the test.

The city also failed to meet the mark in attendance and graduation rates.

In particular, the scores show that Baltimore City is not adequately educating its students in certain subgroups: those who are poor, or African-American, or have limited English skills, or significant learning problems.

City school officials said the results of the new tests highlight areas in need of improvement, not failures.

"This is a brand-new accountability system," said Mary Yakimowski, Baltimore's chief of educational accountability. "We have to treat this as a baseline. It's a starting point and we'll be going further and further, looking for improvement."

The new state tests - created as a result of federal school reform legislation called No Child Left Behind - examine whether school systems and individual schools are making "adequate yearly progress" in a number of areas and among various subgroups of students.

This year, the standard required that generally 40 percent to 45 percent of students pass each test. The bar will be raised until 2014, when all students, in all grades and subgroups, will be required to meet the standard.

Perhaps the worst news for the city schools was that, as a whole, students failed to meet proficiency goals in reading and math. That was not the case in any other Maryland school district, most of which missed the mark in only one or more of the subgroups.

This year, the city school system was required to graduate 79.7 percent of its seniors to meet the state standard. Only 54.7 percent graduated.

Similarly, the standard set for average daily attendance is 94 percent in most cases, but the city's rate was 87.8 percent.

The school system also missed the marks for reading and math in each of the four grades tested - third, fifth, eighth and 10th.

School system interim chief Bonnie S. Copeland said the results illustrate the awesome challenge all school districts face - one that school officials say they embrace.

"The beauty of the new law is that it is just what it says: no child left behind," she said. "No longer can we just look at averages. No longer can we mesh all students together. This will help us much better tailor instruction, rather than the one size fits all."

Although the system as a whole failed to make the grade, 60 out of 180-plus schools - including all four citywide high schools - succeeded in meeting all of their performance goals.

"This is good news," Copeland said, adding that many of those schools have benefited from extra resources or learning programs.

"The majority of these schools had more opportunity for professional development for both teachers and principals than other schools in the system," Copeland said.

About 45 city schools missed the proficiency designation because of test results in only one or two areas, such as math scores for special education students, Yakimowski said,

At Dallas F. Nicholas Elementary School, for example, if two more special education children had scored better on the math portion of the test, the school would have met all of its performance goals, Yakimowski said.

Many city schools that are generally thought to be high-performers did not make the grade.

Roland Park Elementary/Middle School, for example, failed to meet the standard in reading and math for special-education students. Leith Walk Elementary also missed the mark in those areas.

"What we're saying is these are not failing schools," Yakimowski added. "The vast majority of youngsters [in those schools] did very, very well."

But the test heightens concern for the city school system, which had seen four consecutive years of gains on the now-defunct test which preceded the MSA - the Maryland School Performance Assessment Program (MSPAP) exams.

That's because the state will eventually sanction schools and school systems that do not meet the standard for adequate yearly progress. Schools that miss the mark two years in a row will be identified for "school improvement," and could face consequences such as a loss of federal funding, school reorganization or a state takeover.

This year, 76 city schools are on the state's list of schools needing improvement because of previous testing. The new list will be composed of those schools who failed to miss the mark this year and next year.

A number of schools that did meet the goals in all areas this year happen to be on the state's current list of "failing" schools.

Bay Brook Elementary in Brooklyn - which is on the state's failing list - met all of its performance goals on the new test, despite the fact that two years ago, not one third- or fifth-grader in the school scored satisfactorily on the MSPAP.

The test also highlights particular areas of concern for city officials.

Out of 24 middle schools, which consist of sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders, none met the state's standard for adequate yearly progress. And 22 out of 24 middle schools failed to meet the goal for attendance.

Officials said the test performance shows that the district has neglected middle schools while improving elementary schools and reforming high schools.

"If we don't create an environment at the middle-school level where the kids are getting a quality education and they're challenged, then the kids won't come to school," said Jeffery N. Grotsky, the system's chief of staff. "Kids will come if we do our job."

Copeland said the test results also indicate that the system's efforts to revamp a long-struggling special education program might need to be redirected. Many schools missed meeting the state standard because of a low score only in special education.

The school system is under pressure to improve special education because of a decades-old federal lawsuit, and in some years has spent up to 25 percent of its budget - tens of millions of dollars - to comply with a judge's orders regarding special education.

"Sometimes I think our attention has been too focused on compliance and not on really good instruction," Copeland said.

Many of the city's neighborhood high schools also performed poorly.

Even facing so many challenges, school officials said they are confident that the lofty goals set by the new state tests can be met.

"The law says no child left behind," Grotsky said, "and that's where we aim. To do anything else will be shortchanging our kids."

Information is available at www.mdreportcard.org.

BALTIMORE CITY ELEMENTARY

This table shows the reading and math scores for students in tests administered in the spring under the Maryland School Assessment (MSA) program. The number represents the percentage of students who scored at the proficient level or above in that subject. The final column, for "adequate yearly progress," shows whether students in all demographic groups met standards set by the state in each subject area.

.............. ...3rd 3rd 5th 5th Met

School Read. Math Read. Math goal?

Abbottston 40.8 20.4 44.4 26.7 No

Alexander Hamilton 38.3 44.7 42.9 24.5 No

Arlington 57.4 69.3 54.7 38.9 Yes

Armistead Gardens 63.6 70.5 57.1 42.9 Yes

Arundel 23.6 18.2 42.5 30.0 No

Barclay 32.2 50.8 45.8 43.7 No

Bay-Brook 46.0 46.0 52.8 36.1 Yes

Beechfield 30.3 37.7 55.7 30.2 No

Belmont 26.8 29.6 43.7 31.2 No

Bentalou 35.1 47.4 70.8 44.6 Yes

Brehms Lane 29.9 40.9 38.1 29.1 No

Callaway 42.0 36.2 42.4 28.2 No

Calvin M. Rodwell 37.3 43.1 59.2 44.9 Yes

Cecil 41.2 60.8 55.3 59.6 Yes

Charles Carroll Barrister 28.9 34.2 49.0 36.7 Yes

Cherry Hill 23.5 33.3 40.8 22.4 Yes

City Springs 61.0 35.6 75.0 37.5 Yes

Coldstream Park 54.8 67.7 62.9 41.9 Yes

Collington Square 7.8 5.9 24.3 13.5 No

Commodore John Rodgers 34.7 30.6 40.0 14.3 No

Cross Country 51.6 57.9 59.1 40.0 Yes

Curtis Bay 42.4 48.5 37.7 24.5 No

Dallas F. Nicholas Sr. 53.2 68.4 44.4 49.1 No

Dickey Hill 50.0 27.8 54.5 22.7 No

Dr. Bernard Harris Sr. 29.5 29.5 29.7 17.2 No

Dr. Carter G. Woodson 40.8 44.9 44.1 19.1 No

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 44.1 49.1 57.3 24.4 No

Dr. Nathan A. Pitts/Ashburton 43.1 43.1 54.1 29.5 Yes

Dr. Rayner Browne 20.0 16.0 36.7 26.7 No

Edgecombe Circle 29.3 35.4 34.1 11.0 No

Edgewood 53.3 51.1 30.6 26.5 No

Elmer A. Henderson 40.0 42.0 59.6 31.9 Yes

Eutaw-Marshburn 33.3 31.0 31.4 19.6 No

Federal Hill 45.5 51.5 50.0 37.5 Yes

Fort Worthington 47.2 37.5 45.7 21.7 No

Francis Scott Key 50.0 77.3 46.7 53.3 No

Franklin Square 41.3 41.3 49.1 15.8 No

Frederick 21.7 21.7 35.3 37.3 No

Furley 44.7 47.1 38.9 28.2 Yes

Furman L. Templeton 23.9 18.2 23.7 13.4 No

Gardenville 45.7 46.9 44.2 38.4 Yes

Garrett Heights 48.1 37.7 53.6 31.9 No

General Wolfe 45.5 51.5 38.5 19.2 No

George G. Kelson 36.6 31.7 43.7 29.2 Yes

George Washington 32.7 44.8 34.0 24.5 Yes

Gilmor 19.8 25.7 55.4 34.8 No

Glenmount 63.4 76.8 52.2 38.9 Yes

Govans 35.9 49.2 55.7 41.4 Yes

Graceland Park/O'Donnell Hgts 31.5 37.0 35.9 17.9 No

Grove Park 52.5 54.2 59.5 29.7 Yes

Guilford 16.1 40.4 39.2 23.0 No

Gwynns Falls 46.5 46.5 38.0 26.6 No

Hamilton 62.9 68.6 67.6 46.5 Yes

Hampden 70.0 62.0 51.7 48.3 No

Hampstead Hill 31.1 27.9 53.8 29.2 Yes

Harford Heights 21.6 19.4 21.5 17.2 No

Harlem Park 36.0 56.0 71.4 66.7 Yes

Harriet Tubman 34.8 26.1 36.0 16.0 No

Hazelwood 45.5 39.7 51.2 26.8 No

Highlandtown #215 23.8 27.3 NA NA No

Highlandtown #237 35.9 35.9 50.0 35.7 TBD

Hilton 31.6 35.7 42.3 36.5 Yes

Holabird 26.3 26.3 33.3 16.7 No

James McHenry 31.7 34.1 43.9 28.8 No

James Mosher 38.0 64.0 53.3 56.7 Yes

John Eager Howard 27.8 37.1 54.8 51.6 Yes

John Ruhrah 35.6 59.3 40.5 33.8 Yes

Johnston Square 20.0 26.2 27.1 18.6 No

KIPP Ujima Village Academy NA NA 52.0 64.0 Yes

Lafayette 37.1 42.9 24.0 40.0 Yes

Lakeland 34.7 44.0 42.2 17.2 No

Langston Hughes 63.9 50.0 52.4 28.6 Yes

Leith Walk 48.2 49.4 50.0 45.5 No

Liberty 34.2 28.8 41.3 17.3 No

Lockerman-Bundy 26.9 38.5 27.3 25.0 No

Lyndhurst 48.7 57.7 42.9 27.1 Yes

Maree Garnett Farring 35.3 36.8 38.6 26.3 Yes

Margaret Brent 26.8 48.8 25.8 22.6 No

Mary E. Rodman 29.1 23.3 44.0 28.0 No

Matthew A. Henson 29.3 29.3 45.2 34.2 Yes

Medfield Heights 61.2 73.5 61.4 59.1 Yes

Midtown Academy 65.0 90.0 69.6 60.9 Yes

Montebello 48.5 53.8 53.7 42.9 No

Moravia Park Primary 36.4 30.3 28.8 18.5 No

Morrell Park 47.5 41.0 56.2 20.3 TBD

Mt. Royal 34.1 33.3 44.2 51.9 No

Mt. Washington 70.0 74.0 84.8 52.2 Yes

New Song Academy 9.1 18.2 25.0 0.0 No

North Bend 48.6 48.6 30.8 21.5 Yes

Northwood 52.8 61.3 42.3 34.1 No

Patapsco 43.5 32.6 28.3 15.2 No

Pimlico 24.3 28.7 40.0 26.7 No

Robert W. Coleman 35.8 22.6 31.9 10.6 No

Rognel Heights 32.4 38.2 27.1 16.9 No

Roland Park 82.4 91.9 81.4 62.9 No

Rosemont 28.6 45.2 41.4 53.4 Yes

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor 26.6 40.6 49.3 42.3 Yes

Samuel F.B. Morse 20.0 20.0 26.4 15.3 No

Sarah M. Roach 39.1 40.6 54.7 46.9 No

Sharp-Leadenhall 7.7 15.4 46.7 6.7 No

Sinclair Lane 44.4 38.1 29.1 31.4 Yes

Stadium School NA NA 60.0 0.0 Yes

Steuart Hill 42.0 44.0 36.5 5.9 No

Tench Tilghman 27.3 33.0 31.5 24.7 No

Thomas G. Hayes 22.9 28.6 21.8 10.3 No

Thomas Jefferson 57.1 66.7 51.2 26.7 Yes

Thomas Johnson 54.2 66.1 63.4 65.9 Yes

Violetville 55.2 65.5 45.7 63.0 Yes

Walter P. Carter 36.8 26.3 46.5 23.9 No

Waverly 61.4 53.4 70.3 67.6 Yes

Westport 33.9 30.4 35.1 1.8 No

Westside 52.9 57.4 49.3 38.4 Yes

William Paca 24.3 22.2 37.5 24.2 No

William Pinderhughes 21.4 35.7 41.2 20.6 Yes

Windsor Hills 30.2 25.6 46.7 36.7 No

Woodhome 54.9 51.8 67.7 40.0 No

Yorkwood 47.7 37.5 38.1 31.9 No

SOURCE: Md. Dept. of Education

BALTIMORE CITY MIDDLE

This table shows the reading and math scores for students in tests administered in the spring under the Maryland School Assessment (MSA) program. The number represents the percentage of students who scored at the proficient level or above in that subject. The final column, for "adequate yearly progress," shows whether students in all demographic groups met standards set by the state in each subject area.

........ ......8th 8th Met

School Read. Math goal?

Alt. Learn Center 5.7 0.0 No

Arnett J. Brown Jr. 21.1 2.1 No

Barclay 39.0 33.9 No

Benjamin Franklin 18.2 3.7 No

Booker T.

Washington 25.3 6.6 No

Calverton 22.0 2.3 No

Canton 29.4 9.4 No

Chinquapin 47.2 11.3 No

Dickey Hill 71.4 17.1 No

Diggs-Johnson 12.7 3.9 No

Dr. Nathan A. Pitts/

Ashburton 69.2 15.4 Yes

Dr. Roland N.

Patterson 28.9 4.7 No

Eager Street 0.0 0.0 No

Fallstaff 38.7 8.6 No

Francis Scott Key 61.8 33.6 No

Garrison 23.1 2.9 No

Glenmount 44.9 12.8 Yes

Guilford 40.9 24.2 No

Hamilton 29.1 4.9 No

Hamilton El/Mid 75.3 36.0 Yes

Harbor City 0.0 0.0 No

Harlem Park 15.5 4.4 No

Hazelwood 60.0 16.2 No

Highlandtown 21.7 4.3 No

Lakeland 32.8 32.8 No

Laurence G. Paquin 22.2 0.0 No

Lois T. Murray 50.0 70.0 Yes

Lombard 15.2 5.2 No

Midtown Academy 83.3 33.3 Yes

Morrell Park 49.0 15.7 TBD

Mount Royal 37.6 21.4 No

New Song Academy 0.0 0.0 No

Northeast 30.2 13.4 No

Paul L. Dunbar 25.6 7.6 No

Pimlico 28.2 5.0 No

Robert Poole 39.7 19.1 No

Rognel Heights 39.3 19.6 No

Roland Park 69.0 46.8 No

Southeast 32.4 19.3 No

Stadium 35.1 13.5 Yes

Thurgood Marshall 27.2 1.6 No

Violetville 61.5 53.8 Yes

West Baltimore 36.4 13.0 No

Westport 37.2 2.3 No

William H. Lemmel 22.3 3.3 No

Winston 35.3 10.2 No

Woodbourne 3.1 0.0 No

Woodhome 64.3 31.4 No

SOURCE: Md. Dept. of Education

BALTIMORE CITY HIGH

This table shows the reading and math scores for students in tests administered in the spring under the Maryland School Assessment (MSA) program. The number represents the percentage of students who scored at the proficient level or above in that subject. The final column, for "adequate yearly progress," shows whether students in all demographic groups met standards set by the state in each subject area. The 10th grade math score represents results of the state's High School Assessment geometry exam; it is not yet counted in judging adequate yearly progress.

... .......... 10th 10th Met

School Read. Math goal?

Alt. Learn Center 14.3 0.0 No

Carver 27.1 1.3 No

Central Career 0.0 0.0 No

City College 85.6 60.3 Yes

Eager Street 0.0 NA No

Edmondson-

Westside 40.1 4.0 No

Environmental

Learning 22.8 3.8 No

Fairmount-Harford 0.0 0.0 No

Forest Park 12.4 2.2 No

Francis M. Wood 2.9 0.0 No

Frederick Douglass 7.9 2.4 No

George McMechen 0.0 NA Yes

Harbor City 3.1 0.0 No

Lake Clifton-Eastern 6.6 0.0 No

Laurence G. Paquin 29.0 8.8 No

Mergenthaler 45.4 5.7 No

NAF Learning 7.2 0.0 No

Northwestern 19.2 5.3 No

Patterson 13.6 0.7 No

Paul L. Dunbar 70.3 3.7 Yes

PDC/Northern 25.6 3.3 No

Polytechnic Inst. 95.9 82.2 Yes

Reginald F. Lewis 16.7 1.8 No

School For The Arts 91.2 64.0 Yes

Southern 10.3 2.1 No

Southwestern 9.4 0.5 No

Southside Academy 0.0 5.5 No

Walbrook 4.0 1.6 No

Western 81.0 20.8 Yes

SOURCE: Md. Dept. of Education

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