Arundel officials unhappy with latest MSPAP results Schools show decline from last year

December 19, 1997|By Elaine Tassy | Elaine Tassy,SUN STAFF

Some Anne Arundel County school board members voiced disappointment this week with the school district's latest showing on the Maryland State Performance Assessment Program, which showed an overall drop of two-tenths of 1 percent from the 1996-97 school year.

Overall, 47.1 percent of the county's students performed satisfactorily on the most recent tests, compared with 47.3 percent in the previous academic year. The drop ruined the county's record as the sole large school system to show constant significant gains since 1993.

"I'm sure it's no surprise to you that I'm not pleased by this year's MSPAP," said board member Joseph Foster at a meeting Wednesday. "Not to be moving forward at a consistent rate concerns me."

County school officials, however, put the best face on the scores, describing the decline as a "plateau" that is not statistically significant because it is not more than a 3 percent drop.

"I take exception with your disappointment of our scores," said Schools Superintendent Carol S. Parham. She said the pattern is "quite to be expected," comparing it to the leveling off to a lull in a diet. "We'd like to lose weight but we always plateau after losing a certain number of pounds before we lose more," she said.

But that did not change the views of board member Vaughn Brown, who said: "I'm disappointed that we're not at the top, and LTC I'm going to continue to be disappointed until we get there."

Pub Date: 12/19/97

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