Baltimore City's scores held steady from last year in the number of students in grades three through eight performing at proficient or advanced levels in math and reading, and maintained some of the district's highest proficiency levels to date.
The city's overall percentage of students who scored proficient or advanced in reading remained the same as last year at 72.4 percent. In math, there was an overall 3-point increase from last year, to 66 percent, the highest level ever in the district.
Alonso said he had few disappointments with the city's scores, though the district essentially remained stagnant. He said that while the improvements weren't dramatic, they "signal strength as we go forward."
According to a Baltimore Sun analysis, a number of city schools continue to trade off with Prince George's County for the bottom scores in the state.
But, with the exception of eighth-graders, city middle-schoolers saw the most significant gains across the board in reading and math. Most notable was the gain of 7 percentage points in sixth-grade math.
Eighth grade showed slight decreases in both categories — less than 1 percent — and Alonso said that the school system had "hit a bump" in its eighth-grade curriculum.
City elementary students continue to outpace their middle school counterparts on the assessments in both subjects.
But city elementary school students struggled with reading this year.
There was a 3-percentage-point decline in the number of third-graders reading at proficient levels, and a 2-point decline in the number of fourth-graders doing so. Fifth-graders' scores had a slight decline.
Alonso said the school system has "hit a ceiling" with elementary school reading curriculum and needs to refocus on innovative ideas to engage students in literacy.
The percentage of city students who are scoring advanced continues to grow, doubling what it was three years ago.
"The growth in the advanced [scores] is really gratifying for me," he said. "For so long it's been about remediation."
Baltimore Sun staff reporter Joe Burris contributed to this article. Text NEWS to 70701 to get Baltimore Sun local news text alerts