Maryland schools get poor marks State fails in six of eight standards

November 19, 1990|By Mark Bomster | Mark Bomster,Evening Sun Staff

Maryland schools failed to meet all but two of the state's eight performance standards in the last school year, according to a report issued today by the state Department of Education.

Overall, the state's public schools failed to make "satisfactory" grades on any of the four basic competency tests given to ninth graders: reading, writing, mathematics and citizenship.

The schools' seventh-through-12-grade attendance and the high school dropout rate were less than satisfactory. Maryland schools made satisfactory grades in first-through-sixth-grade attendance and promotion. The state failed to make a grade of "excellent" in any of those categories.

The report for the first time bundles performance data on state's public school system as a whole and for each of Maryland's 24 school jurisdictions.

Part of the Maryland School Performance Program, the report grew out of a gubernatorial commission headed by Walter Sondheim Jr. The report called for local districts to be more accountable for their performance.

School performance varied widely by jurisdiction. Baltimore failed to make a satisfactory grade in any of the eight categories, for example, while Howard County missed only on its attendance rate for first through sixth grades.

But state officials insisted that the report is simply the "benchmark" for an ambitious five-year school performance program through 1995 and is not intended to rank the relative quality of different school districts.

Among the Baltimore area jurisdictions:

* Anne Arundel County scored "excellent" on promotion in first through sixth grades; "satisfactory" on attendance in first through sixth grades; failed to meet the standard on all four competency tests, and on attendance in seventh through 12th grades.

* Baltimore County scored "excellent" on promotion in first through sixth grades; made "satisfactory" grades on the reading and writing tests, and on attendance in first through sixth grades; it failed on its high school dropout rate.

* Carroll County posted an "excellent" mark on promotion in first through sixth grades; got a "satisfactory" grade on the reading, writing and citizenship tests, and on attendance in first through sixth grades; it failed to meet the standard on attendance in the seventh through 12th grades and on the high school dropout rate.

* Harford County scored "excellent" on promotion in first through sixth grades; "satisfactory" on the reading and writing tests, and on attendance in first through sixth grades; it failed to meet the standard on the mathematics and citizenship tests and on high school dropouts.

* Howard County scored "excellent" in promotion in first through sixth grades; "satisfactory" on all four competency tests, and on the dropout rate and on attendance in first through sixth grades; it failed to meet the standard on attendance in seventh through 12th grades.

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