Carroll schools score above state average But test results far short of future goals

June 10, 1993|By Anne Haddad | Anne Haddad,SOURCE: Carroll County Board of EducationStaff Writer

Carroll County schools performed better than the stat average -- but still far below standards the state would like to see in 1995 and 2000 -- on the Maryland School Performance Assessments.

The test results for the county were released at yesterday's Board of Education meeting.

The statewide test is designed to determine how well students apply their knowledge, said Brian Lockard, deputy superintendent of schools in Carroll. It measures how well a school or school system -- rather than an individual student -- is performing.

Superintendent R. Edward Shilling questioned yesterday whether the state's goals for those years are realistic.

"It's one thing to set high standards, it's another to set unrealistic, unattainable standards," he said.

He said he would voice his concerns to the Maryland Board of Education at a series of hearings on the tests this summer.

The results show five different levels. Level 3 is satisfactory, Level 2 is excellent and Level 1 is the goal for the year 2000.

Testing was done for reading, math, social studies and science for grades three, five and eight.

Compared to the state averages, more Carroll County students met the "satisfactory" or higher standards at every grade level and subject area.

Fewer than 1 percent of students scored in Level 1, both in Carroll and statewide, in all grades and subjects, the report said.

Carroll students in all three grades scored at the top two levels in reading skills. The eighth-graders exceeded state averages in all subjects.

Ronald Peiffer, a spokesman for the Maryland State Department of Education, said Carroll students also generally scored better than the state averages last year.

"I guess the plus is that they'remaking progress toward those standards for the year 2000," Mr. Peiffer said.

However, he said the system will have to try to meet more of the interim goals by the 1995-1996 school year, when the state wants 70 percent of students to meet the satisfactory standards.

Carroll now has roughly between 30 percent and 50 percent of its students at that level.

Students in grades three, five and eight took these tests just last month, but the results released yesterday were from last year's test-takers. The results from this year won't be available for several months, school officials said.

The lag between test-taking and results is a problem, Dr. Lockard said, because the school system did not have the results from last year in time to make any changes in instruction this year.

He said state officials have agreed to have the results available earlier next year.

Mr. Peiffer said the state hopes to have the 1993 figures finished by January of 1994.

The results released yesterday include dozens of pages of analysis, cautions against misinterpreting results, the rationale behind the tests and sample questions.

One question asked students to make up five different seating arrangements for a luncheon for 20 people, using up to 36 square tables that could fit one person on each side.

Students who got only one or two correct seating arrangements got partial credit.

The tests were scored individually by certified teachers who were specially trained for this program and did the work last summer.

Language usage and writing were also tested, but scores on those tests won't be released this year.

Those tests did not yield enough information to provide valid statistics, said Judith Backes, who supervises testing programs for Carroll schools.

The state changed the test for 1993 and will report results for those areas next year, she said.

Carroll School Performance Assessment

These numbers indicate what percentage of Carroll County students scored at each of five levels of the Maryland School Performance Assessment. Level 1 is the highest; Level 5 is the lowest.

Reading .. ..Level 1.. ..Level 2.. ..Level 3.. ..Level 4.. ..Level 5

Grade 3 .. .. .0.2.. .. ..2.3.. .. .. .31.6.. .. ..42.3.. .. .23.5

Grade 5 .. .. .0.8.. .. ..2.7.. .. .. .28.9.. .. ..42.2.. .. .24.7

Grade 8 .. .. .0.2.. .. ..2.9.. .. .. .33.6.. .. ..45.7.. .. .17.5

Math .. .. ..Level 1.. ..Level 2.. ..Level 3.. ...Level 4.. .Level 5

Grade 3.. ....None .. .. .1.6.. .. .. 32.2 .. .. ..41.0.. .. .25.2

Grade 5.. .. .0.5.. .. ...5.8.. .. ...48.4.. .. ...30.3.. .. .15.0

Grade 8.. .. .0.3.. .. ...4.8.. .. ...46.5.. .. ...33.9.. .. .14.5

Social Studies .Level 1.. Level 2.. .Level 3.. .. Level 4.. .Level 5

Grade 3.. .. .. .0.1.. .. ..2.3.. .. .38.6.. .. .. 23.8.. .. .35.3

Grade 5.. .. .. .0.1.. .. ..3.1.. .. .37.2.. .. ...59.6*.. ....*

Grade 8.. .. .. .0.3.. .. ..3.3.. .. .40.8.. .. ...32.9.. .. .22.8

Science.. .. ...Level 1...Level 2.. .Level 3.. .. .Level 4...Level 5

Grade 3.. .. .. .None.. .. .1.5.. .. .40.30.. .. .. 34.8.. .. 23.5

Grade 5.. .. .. .None.. .. .2.1.. .. .45.3.. .. .. .37.6.. ...15.0

Grade 8.. .. .. .None.. .. .4.7.. .. .40.2.. .. .. .46.4.. ... 8.7

* Level 4 and 5 ratings combined

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