State test results proved a mixed bag for Anne Arundel County schools as three earned their way off of the list of struggling institutions while three made it onto the list after failing to meet standards for the first time.
Maryland education officials, who are charged with implementing the federal No Child Left Behind Act, released the annual list of troubled schools yesterday.
More than 30 Baltimore city schools that have failed to meet standards for several years in a row will be forced by federal law to undergo a major overhaul this year.
Parents and students will begin seeing new staff, principals and curriculum, particularly in the middle and high schools as those schools work to meet new requirements, city school officials said.
In Anne Arundel, where no school faces this prospect this fall, 11 schools are on the list of schools.
Moving off the list are three elementary schools that met state standards: Harman, Georgetown East and Park.
Another three elementary schools - Freetown, Tyler Heights and Van Bokkelen -met state standards after entering remediation last year. They could be removed from the list if they meet standards again next year
Belle Grove Elementary, Chesapeake Bay Middle and Arundel Middle are the schools added to the list this year.
Five schools on the list - Waugh Chapel Elementary, Lindale Middle, Meade Middle, Annapolis Middle and Meade High - failed to meet progress standards for a second straight year and could face a remediation process ending in state takeover if they do not improve next year.
Despite struggles in some schools, administrators said they were pleased with the overall results.
"We feel really positive that the overwhelming majority of schools showed a marked increase in achievement," said Jonathan Brice, spokesman for the county school system.
Brice said the test results would not change the overall focus of the system or put the spotlight on any single group of students.
A large number of schools in the region made great strides.
In Baltimore County, seven schools failed to meet the academic targets set by the state. "For a school system this size," said school system spokesman Charles A. Herndon, "I think that's a remarkable accomplishment."
Only two middle schools in Harford County failed to meet the standards and all of the county's 32 elementary schools and 10 high schools passed.
All of Carroll County schools met the standards, the only system in the region that can claim that distinction.
And in the city, seven schools did well enough two years in a row to get off the failing list. Another 30 schools that had not met standards for at least two years in a row, improved this year. "I really do feel, on balance, this is really more good news," said Chief Executive Officer Bonnie Copeland.
Of the city's 184 schools, 115 met all the reading and math targets, which Copeland called "incredible."
The data presented yesterday is preliminary and could change after each school's attendance and drop-out figures are factored in. The state wanted to release the data early because parents of students in failing schools may have the option of transferring their children to a better school in the district or of applying to get tutoring services next year.
Parents have to make that decision soon in order to get their children in a new school by fall.
Among the 46 Baltimore County schools that did not make adequate progress last year, all except two - Sandalwood Elementary in Essex and Evening High School - made adequate progress this year.
Evening High is not a single school, but a countywide program serving students who have been unsuccessful in traditional academic settings.
Because they did not show improvement over two consecutive years, Sandalwood and Evening High will enter the state's "school improvement program," which provides extra resources in exchange for mandated academic results.
Schools in the program that fail to improve eventually face sanctions, including the elimination of federal funds.
Meanwhile, the two Baltimore County schools already on the failing list - Winfield Elementary and Woodlawn Middle - made adequate progress in every tested area this year. If they show another year of improvement, they will get off the list.
Although six of Howard elementary schools have worked their way off the school improvement list, eighth-graders in special education programs at Elkridge Landing and Murray Hill middle schools did not make adequate yearly progress targets on the reading exam.
Carroll County schools became the only system in the Baltimore area to meet the standards after four schools worked themselves off the warning list.
"We have no body on the list," said Gregory Bricca, director of research and accountability for the school system. "It's a great place to be today."
Anne Arundel's Brice said that administrators were "exceedingly pleased" with schools that earned their way off the state monitoring list.