Schools gain but remain short of goals Dropout rate causes concern

November 16, 1993

Maryland public schools received higher marks in the state's fourth annual report card yesterday, but most still fall short of ambitious state standards.

The results -- based on state tests, promotion and dropout rates, and attendance -- form the basis for the Maryland School Performance Program, designed to hold schools more accountable for classroom results.

In the metropolitan area, only Howard County met all 13 state standards, while the city of Baltimore fell short in all but two areas. Anne Arundel and Carroll counties met 12 standards, followed by Harford County with 11 and Baltimore County with 10.

State Superintendent Nancy S. Grasmick said she was heartened by some improvements in student performance but said the schools have a long way to go. She said she was particularly concerned about a statewide dropout rate that remains at 5.3 percent, meaning an average of 55 students drop out every school day.

"We have a very long way to go to accomplish the systemic reforms that will enable all children in all schools to realize their learning potential," Dr. Grasmick said.

All of the state's 24 school systems fell far short of proposed state goals on a battery of tests designed to measure how well students apply what they learn in the classroom. By 1996, schools must meet state standards on those tests.

Less than a third of the students statewide met standards on the reading, math, social studies and science tests given to third-, fifth- and eighth-graders.

On separate functional tests given to ninth- and 11th-graders, students met or surpassed state goals in reading and writing but fell short in math and citizenship.

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