Clarksville Middle School eighth-graders led county middle school students on three of the four new statewide reading, language, writing and mathematics tests, while Atholton was the only elementary school to score at the top on more than one test.
Clarksville had the highest percentage of students in the top three levels in reading, writing and mathematics, while Patapsco Middle School took the honors in language usage.
Atholton led in third-grade mathematics and fifth-grade language usage tests. Centennial Lane, Jeffers Hill and Longfellow each had the largest numbers in the top three levels on one of the tests given third-graders; Clemens Crossing, Hammond and Lisbon each placed the largest numbers of fifth-graders in the top three levels on one test.
Overall, Howard County emerged with a 40-60 record -- 40 percent ofits students in the top three levels of the tests, 60 percent in thelowest two. Statewide, three-fourths of the students placed in the bottom two levels.
Level 1 is considered excellent, Level 5 unacceptably low.
Most white and Asian students scored about the same on the tests. Whites and Asians generally had higher percentages at the upper levels of the tests, while more black students placed in the lower two levels.
And girls outscored boys on the math tests in third and fifth grades, but fell behind in the eighth grade.
On the mathematics tests, 48.9 percent of the third-grade girls placed in the top three levels vs. 45.7 percent of boys. The results among fifth-graders were nearly equal, with 47.3 percent of the girls in the top three levels vs. 47.2 percent of the boys. Among eighth-graders, 55.7 percent of boys and 50.6 percent of the girls scored in top three levels.
Hammond Middle School had the largest numbers of scores in thelowest two categories on reading, language and math tests. Owen Brown Middle had the largest number of students at the bottom on the writing test.
Waterloo Elementary had the largest numbers of students in the lowest two levels on third-grade reading and language tests, fifth-grade reading and math tests. Elkridge and Laurel Woods showed the largest numbers of poor scorers on the third-grade writing and math tests. Among fifth-graders, Deep Run had the largest numbers of students at the bottom of writing and language tests.
State and county school officials have tried to discourage comparisons, saying school districts have until 2000 to meet the goals of the new Maryland School Performance Assessment Program.
Howard principals, however, are encouraged to compare their schools' test results with those from schools with similar demographics.