Baltimore City's first- and second-graders improved for the sixth year in a row on a standardized test of math and reading, with students scoring better than 50 percent of their peers around the country, school officials said Tuesday.
Scores on the Stanford 10 have increased from the 38th percentile in first-grade reading in 2004 to the 55th percentile this year. Math scores rose during the same period from the 44th percentile to the 67th percentile in first grade.
In second grade, scores rose from the 36th percentile to the 51st percentile in reading and from the 40th to the 61st percentile in math.
School officials credited increasing enrollment in pre-kindergarten classes as one of the reasons for better test scores. The school system released data showing that first- and second-graders who had gone to pre-kindergarten did better than those who had not. The data support national studies that show good pre-kindergarten has long-term effects on school performance.
The gaps between special education students and general education students narrowed slightly in some grades and subjects, but the progress was still not enough, said Sonja Brookins Santelises, the chief academic officer.
"We are making progress across all student groups. That is worth celebrating," Santelises said. "But it points out that that is not enough."
Santelises said the school system is working on revamping a plan to improve the teaching of reading and writing.
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