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Howard pupils post high scores

Howard County students were once again top performers in the second year of Maryland School Assessment exams, with more than 80 percent surpassing basic skill levels in reading.

"In most cases, as far as I can tell, we made some improvement," said Portia White, coordinator of testing for Howard County schools.

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State education officials released the results of reading exams yesterday for the third, fifth, eighth and 10th grades, as well as math scores for the three lower grades.

Although fourth-, sixth- and seventh-graders also were tested this year, those scores will be released this summer with the results of high school mathematics tests.

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Remaining are calculations to see whether schools that were deemed failing made adequate progress.

The poorly performing schools must show adequate progress for two consecutive years to be removed from a program that allows families to transfer their children to better-performing ones.

Howard had six schools on the failing list in 2002; all of them made adequate progress last year. Preliminary data show they likely will have made it again this year, and be taken off the state list.

"We're being very cautious in what we get excited about right now," said Patti Caplan, Howard schools spokeswoman. "It looks very promising, but we're withholding our celebration until all the data is in."

Countywide results exceeded state averages for all grade levels, although the percentage of Howard's eighth-graders passing the math test dropped less than 1 percentage point, from 62.8 percent to 62.2 percent.

While strides have been made toward closing achievement gaps between racial and ethnic groups, a preliminary examination shows that white and Asian-American students scored higher than their Hispanic and African-American classmates.

More than three-quarters of Howard's African-American third-graders scored at proficient or advanced levels this year, up from 58.9 percent last year. About 90 percent of white students attained that level. And the percentage of Hispanic fifth-graders who exceeded basic levels in mathematics jumped from 55.9 to 76.7 this year while 88 percent of white pupils reached that mark.

Federal and state officials will use the test scores to determine which schools are making adequate progress toward educating all students, including different ethnic and racial groups, special education students, those with limited English proficiency and those who receive free or reduced-price meals.

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The State Department of Education is awaiting a final ruling from the U.S. Department of Education on proposed changes to how schools count students in subgroups such as special education in determining adequate yearly progress.

State officials expected to release that information as early as Friday, but because the criteria may change, they cautioned against using the scores to jump to conclusions about a school's status.

Howard's six schools on the failing list - Bryant Woods, Cradlerock, Guilford, Phelps Luck, Swansfield and Talbott Springs elementaries - posted significant improvements in this year's test results.

At Talbott Springs in Columbia, nearly 90 percent of third-graders reached proficient or advanced levels on the reading test - up 41 percentage points from last year.

The number of fifth-graders who scored above basic levels on the math exam more than doubled to 73.3 percent.

At Columbia's Bryant Woods Elementary, third-grade scores improved. Reading and math scores increased by about 30 percentage points each to reach 80.4 and 82.4 percent this year.

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Fifth-grade scores, however, declined by about 10 percentage points on both tests to 69.9 and 65.4 respectively, but were still higher than the state average.

Bryant Woods Principal Jason McCoy said he was pleased with the results, even though fewer fifth-graders scored at the proficient level this year. This is a different class than the one that was tested in 2003, he said.

"Every year, you're starting with a new population," agreed White, the testing coordinator. "We have to think of it as a school effort."

"If we want to meet the target, we have to start the minute they hit the doors of our schools," she added.

Given the number of fourth-graders last year who were working below grade level, McCoy said he felt they performed well.

McCoy attributed the school's success to factors such as extra mathematics instruction each week, collaboration between teachers and improved staff development.

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"We don't feel this is a surprise, either," he said. "It's validating because the staff works very hard ... to see the fruits of their labor."

Online

For a link to the full Maryland School Assessment report issued yesterday by the Maryland State Department of Education, go on the Web to baltimoresun.com

Howard Elementary schools

This table shows the total percentage of third- and fifth-grade Howard County elementary school pupils who scored at advanced or proficient levels in tests administered as part of the Maryland School Assessment.

3rd Read. 3rd Math 5th Read. 5th Math

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School '04 '03 '04 '03 '04 '03 '04 '03

County Totals 88.0 79.4 87.0 82.9 86.5 84.1 83.2 78.8

Atholton 83.2 72.1 82.3 79.6 89.3 86.1 81.7 80.6

Bellows Spring 91.7 NA 91.8 NA 85.4 NA 77.5 NA

Bollman Bridge 79.1 68.1 77.9 75.5 81.8 76.6 79.1 70.4

Bryant Woods 80.4 48.0 82.4 53.9 69.8 80.7 65.4 75.8

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Bushy Park 94.6 87.7 93.8 95.2 93.1 95.0 90.5 86.6

Centennial Lane 94.9 95.5 90.5 93.6 97.4 96.8 95.7 94.3

Clarksville 97.6 86.8 97.6 88.6 94.1 93.5 93.3 88.6

Clemens Crossing 90.9 89.2 87.5 89.2 86.3 89.0 81.6 83.4

Dasher Green 78.7 64.1 82.0 65.7 73.6 78.6 70.9 68.0

Deep Run 76.9 64.4 71.5 68.3 69.6 69.0 67.0 61.1

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Elkridge 83.0 84.4 75.4 83.6 81.0 81.0 77.6 68.7

Forest Ridge 91.7 66.4 91.5 76.5 82.7 80.2 74.6 73.8

Fulton 91.9 85.6 88.6 85.5 91.1 86.4 86.9 87.4

Gorman Crossing 80.8 77.1 75.9 80.0 81.6 73.6 80.5 79.2

Guilford 82.0 65.8 80.0 76.7 74.4 75.0 79.1 69.4

Hammond 88.1 89.6 90.1 93.3 92.9 90.4 89.3 85.6

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Hollifield Station 87.8 78.7 84.8 84.8 88.1 82.5 88.1 76.5

Ilchester 93.4 86.6 96.2 90.1 95.9 95.7 96.9 91.4

Jeffers Hill 80.0 88.6 87.2 85.2 81.4 87.4 81.4 79.3

Laurel Woods 70.8 58.4 76.4 52.6 69.4 65.8 66.2 52.4

Lisbon 89.9 88.3 88.1 88.4 87.4 89.4 83.5 78.7

Longfellow 88.0 74.6 86.6 77.6 73.6 80.3 70.8 70.5

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Manor Woods 94.8 90.8 92.1 90.8 93.6 94.0 82.4 85.0

Northfield 95.3 86.0 93.5 90.4 94.9 94.2 94.9 90.1

Phelps Luck 82.7 58.2 82.7 63.2 73.4 68.5 75.9 58.7

Pointers Run 94.3 91.6 93.7 89.5 97.3 93.7 94.0 88.7

Rockburn 90.0 81.6 91.8 90.3 93.1 88.4 87.3 85.8

Running Brook 79.2 65.9 87.6 75.6 75.6 66.7 60.0 60.8

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St. Johns Lane 84.0 79.5 79.3 86.6 81.7 77.4 73.9 78.3

Stevens Forest 73.7 75.9 82.5 79.3 81.1 75.0 70.7 65.4

Swansfield 76.6 66.7 76.6 67.8 75.1 71.3 71.3 62.7

Talbott Springs 89.9 48.9 87.3 52.2 67.4 44.0 73.3 30.8

Thunder Hill 92.8 87.8 91.3 91.8 91.3 94.0 88.4 92.6

Triadelphia Ridge 93.1 88.3 91.6 90.1 96.5 90.5 93.8 90.5

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Waterloo 90.5 82.0 88.4 88.3 95.2 85.3 89.4 82.4

Waverly 95.2 86.9 91.6 92.5 96.2 91.4 87.9 88.5

West Friendship 87.7 76.0 91.3 88.6 87.2 90.3 93.0 90.4

Worthington 89.9 92.2 89.8 96.7 95.4 86.6 92.7 92.0

Source: Md. Dept. of Education

Howard county middle

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This table shows the total percentage of Howard County eighth-graders who scored at advanced or proficient levels in tests administered as part of the Maryland School Assessment.

8th Read. 8th Math

School '04 '03 '04 '03

County totals 82.2 80.8 62.2 62.8

Bonnie Branch 87.2 84.7 55.7 59.2

Burleigh Manor 92.3 94.0 86.1 89.6

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Clarksville 95.5 95.4 90.2 86.4

Dunloggin 75.8 85.5 63.1 77.5

Elkridge Landing 68.1 80.4 41.5 46.1

Ellicott Mills 88.5 85.5 79.8 69.0

Folly Quarter 83.2 NA 70.2 NA

Glenwood 91.4 88.6 77.1 69.3

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Hammond 90.1 83.9 73.5 69.3

Harper's Choice 76.6 73.2 46.3 56.3

Lime Kiln 93.4 89.8 81.4 82.6

Mayfield Woods 77.7 72.5 71.2 68.5

Mount View 90.6 88.3 59.7 69.2

Murray Hill 67.3 65.4 47.8 39.9

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Oakland Mills 72.8 75.5 45.9 53.2

Owen Brown 74.3 74.9 50.3 50.3

Patapsco 83.5 80.9 62.5 75.5

Patuxent Valley 82.0 71.5 45.7 36.9

Wilde Lake 80.8 74.0 47.0 42.2

Source: Md. Dept. of Education

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Howard county high schools

This table shows the total percentage of Howard County 10th-graders who scored at advanced or proficient levels in reading tests administered as part of the Maryland School Assessment.

10th Grade Reading

School '04 '03

County totals 83.0 82.0

Atholton 88.4 81.7

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Centennial 91.1 92.8

Glenelg 90.2 92.6

Hammond 81.7 76.5

Howard 84.8 72.5

Long Reach 72.8 74.7

Mount Hebron 84.5 85.3

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Oakland Mills 77.3 76.2

Reservoir 76.8 82.7

River Hill 90.9 90.1

Wilde Lake 78.9 79.2

Source: Md. Dept. of Education


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