How third-graders fare Scores: These tables show how third-grade readers in area schools compare with their districts and the state.

November 02, 1997|By Marego Athans | Marego Athans,SUN STAFF

The most comprehensive measure of how well, or poorly, Maryland schools are teaching reading is the Maryland School ++ Performance Assessment Program (MSPAP) tests, given to almost all the state's public-school students in third, fifth and eighth grades each year.

The tables on this page show the percentages of third-graders in each of the Baltimore region's elementary schools who have met MSPAP's "satisfactory" standard in reading, as compared with school district and state averages.

"MSPAP suggests that as a state we're making incremental improvements, but we have a good distance to go," says Steven Ferrara, who helped design the state tests and is now working on new national tests proposed by President Clinton.

"All the tests ... tell us the same thing about grade three reading in Maryland," he says. "One, our students are not reading as well as we want them to read and as well as we think they need to read as third-graders. Two, some specific groups of students are doing very well, and, with other specific groups, we have to worry about their reading skills."

The MSPAP reading test goes beyond basic skills to measure how well students use those skills to interpret, elaborate on and solve school and everyday problems.

Unlike traditional tests of basic skills that use multiple-choice questions, MSPAP tests ask children to read long passages and answer in paragraphs and essays, unravel complex problems and work in groups.

Given since 1990 in reading, math, social studies, science, writing and language, the tests are part of a statewide reform effort aimed at better preparing students for future workplaces.

The tests are not designed to measure the performance of individual students but individual schools. In each subject and grade, schools are told what percentages of their pupils meet the state's standards for "satisfactory" and "excellent" performance levels.

The state program has been criticized by some parents because it doesn't provide individual student scores and because, some say, it encourages schools to ignore basic-skills instruction.

Key: How to read MSPAP test scores table

Averages of third-graders in the state, school system and individual schools within each jurisdiction meeting the MSPAP "satisfactory" standard in reading.

!

Baltimore City

Year .................... 1994 ..... 1995 ..... 1996

State average ........... 30.6 ..... 34.0 ..... 35.3

City average ............ 9.2 ...... 11.4 ..... 11.2

School Abbottston .............. 4.9 ....... 7.3 ...... 1.5

Arlington ............... 11.9 ...... 10.6 ..... 8.7

Armistead Gardens ....... 9.4 ....... 23.4 ..... 10.2

Arundel ................. 2.1 ....... 1.9 ...... 14.0

Ashburton ............... 6.8 ....... 4.3 ...... 15.6

Barclay Elementary ...... 12.5 ...... 9.3 ...... 23.1

Bay Brook ............... 2.8 ....... 0.0 ...... 5.0

Beechfield .............. 8.2 ....... 10.0 ..... 8.1

Belmont ................. 7.9 ....... 0.0 ...... 2.0

Brehms Lane ............. 1.5 ....... 10.2 ..... 8.6

Carroll of Carr. ..... 1.1 ....... 5.5 ...... 1.9

Callaway ................ 9.6 ....... 2.7 ...... 5.8

Calvin Rodwell .......... 13.0 ...... 31.0 ..... 20.8

Carter Godwin Woodson ... 15.6 ...... 19.4 ..... 11.1

Cecil ................... 7.0 ....... 28.9 ..... 27.0

Charles Carroll Barr. ... 8.1 ....... 9.8 ...... 7.1

Cherry Hill ............. 13.0 ...... 6.1 ...... 15.2

City Springs ............ 1.3 ....... 1.5 ...... 0.0

Coldstream Park ......... 5.7 ....... 15.0 ..... 11.0

Collington Square ....... 0.0 ....... 15.3 ..... 13.5

Comm. John Rodgers ...... 3.4 ....... 9.8 ...... 2.4

Cross Country ........... 13.3 ...... 13.6 ..... 20.2

Curtis Bay .............. 9.9 ....... 14.6 ..... 8.2

Dallas F. Nicholas Sr. .. 5.9 ....... 21.4 ..... 8.0

Dickey Hill ............. 34.0 ...... 21.1 ..... 3.4

Bernard Harris Sr. .. 1.4 ....... 16.1 ..... 12.4

Dr. M.L. King Jr. ....... 2.1 ....... 2.6 ...... 7.3

Dr. Rayner Browne ....... 10.3 ...... 17.1 ..... 6.7

Edgecombe Circle ........ 11.8 ...... 7.1 ...... 12.2

Edgewood ................ 10.1 ...... 10.7 ..... 16.4

Elmer A. Henderson ...... 3.8 ....... 6.8 ...... 4.8

Eutaw-Marshburn ......... 6.2 ....... 6.2 ...... 10.1

Federal Hill ............ 13.2 ...... 19.4 ..... 4.4

Fort Worthington ........ 6.7 ....... 7.3 ...... 5.3

Francis Scott Key

Elementary .............. 12.1 ...... 20.6 ..... 31.0

Franklin Square ......... 5.5 ....... 5.3 ...... 5.5

Frederick ............... 12.3 ...... 9.2 ...... 5.3

Furley .................. 1.7 ....... 11.8 ..... 11.5

Furman L. Templeton ..... 0.0 ....... 6.5 ...... 15.0

Gardenville ............. 32.3 ...... 25.5 ..... 36.8

Garrett Heights ......... 15.0 ...... 11.5 ..... 20.5

General Wolfe ........... 0.0 ....... 6.9 ...... 3.8

George Kelson ........... 3.7 ....... 0.0 ...... 2.5

George Street ........... 2.0 ....... 5.8 ...... 2.0

George Washington ....... 6.1 ....... 17.5 ..... 20.4

Gilmor .................. 2.6 ....... 1.5 ...... 1.7

Glenmount ............... 34.8 ...... 40.6 ..... 35.1

Govans .................. 4.0 ....... 16.3 ..... 12.0

Graceland Park/

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