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NEWS
June 17, 2002
The Comprehensive Test of Basic Skills was given to Baltimore County second-, fourth- and sixth-graders in February. Pupils were tested in reading, math and language skills. County scores as a whole showed little change over last year. The figures below represent the scoring percentiles in math and reading for each elementary and middle school. The national median is 50. Data for some schools are not available.
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NEWS
August 21, 2014
My oh my, schools have cut out handwriting. What do they think they are doing? How are children going to sign their name? Technology has brought many changes to our lives, but it doesn't mean we can dismiss handwriting, a basic skill. Especially in business, we must sign our names while we open a checking or savings account, sign for a loan or mortgage and any receipt must be signed when using a credit card - the preferred choice of payment for today. A waitress comes to your table and writes your order with a pen and paper, and then goes to the computer to put the order into the kitchen.
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NEWS
By Howard Libit and Howard Libit,SUN STAFF | July 29, 1999
In a move toward greater accountability, the state school board ordered all Maryland second-, fourth- and sixth-graders yesterday to take an annual national test of basic skills.The decision marks the state's first effort to ensure that all pupils receive individual standardized test scores. State officials plan to develop a new testing report card that would inform parents of their children's marks on the national test and scores from other tests.Maryland's current testing program for third-, fifth- and eighth-graders -- known as the Maryland School Performance Assessment Program (MSPAP)
NEWS
By Arnold Packer | November 5, 2013
"You get 35 cents per mile and $40 per day for meals. " Computing the per diem for a given trip is beyond the capacity of 29 percent - almost three in 10 - American adults. They cannot apply two steps to calculate with whole numbers and common decimals, percentages and fractions or perform other simple tasks with numbers. Only adults in Spain and Italy did worse than Americans in such skills. In Japan, fewer than one in 10 (8 percent) are so handicapped. Who is going to win in the competition for good jobs?
NEWS
By Ginger Thompson Greg Tasker in Carroll County, Alan J. Craver in Harford County and Donna Boller in Howard County contributed to this article | January 10, 1992
While Maryland is the nation's fifth wealthiest state and ranks ninth in per pupil expenditures, student performance on the national Comprehensive Tests of Basic Skills was only average.Of the scores available yesterday, Baltimore students performed worse than those in any other jurisdiction in the area, while scores were highest in Howard County.The multiple-choice CTBS was given for the first time last April either to all or to a sampling of third-, fifth- and eighth-grade students in the city and each county of the state to gauge skills in reading, language and math.
NEWS
By Anne Haddad and Anne Haddad,SUN STAFF | May 7, 1996
As students across Maryland buckled down for the first day of MSPAP testing yesterday, more than a dozen parents staged a protest in front of state education offices.The parents have two major complaints about the tests administered annually to the state's third-, fifth- and eighth-graders under the Maryland School Performance and Assessment Program. They say that preparing for the tests forces schools to neglect basic skills and that the tests' questions are infused with liberal political views.
NEWS
By Howard Libit and Howard Libit,SUN STAFF | August 25, 1996
Howard County third-graders continued to improve their mastery of basic skills, but fifth- and eighth-graders slipped slightly on last spring's Comprehensive Tests of Basic Skills.The results of the most recent set of nationally standardized exams indicate that the statewide shift toward more instruction in problem-solving is not coming at the expense of lessons in basic skills for Howard students, school officials say.Howard students have shown "remarkable consistency and made a lot of improvement, too," said Leslie Walker-Bartnick, the school system's supervisor of testing.
NEWS
By Howard Libit and Howard Libit,SUN STAFF | October 15, 1995
Howard County students continue to perform well on the national exam for basic skills despite a decline in their collective aptitude, according to the results of last spring's Comprehensive Tests of Basic Skills.The CTBS results also showed that a gap persists between the scores of white and Asian-American students and those of African-American and Hispanic pupils.The test results for third-, fifth-, eighth- and 11th-graders who took the CTBS exam last spring were presented to the county school board Thursday night.
NEWS
By Stephen Kiehl and Stephen Kiehl,SUN STAFF | April 4, 2002
Eighth-graders in Anne Arundel County will not take the state's contested performance test this year, the school board unanimously decided yesterday, opting instead to give those pupils a multiple-choice test. Anne Arundel is the first school system in the Baltimore area to drop the Maryland School Performance Assessment Program test. Board members said they were tired of a test that scored schools but not individual pupils. "For quite some time, I've heard criticism ... from parents who said the test didn't tell them anything about their child," said board member Michael McNelly.
TOPIC
By Diane Stafford | May 13, 2001
WE TALK a lot about the gaps. The gender gap. The digital divide. The salary gap. The generation gap. Owners vs. employees. Government vs. business. Labor vs. management. Sometimes, schisms overwhelm commonalities. Sadly, I put forth another rift: the ability gap. It may be the most gaping workplace cleft of all. Today's work force is riven between those who have the basic skills needed in most 21st-century jobs and those who don't. Last year, one out of three job applicants failed pre-employment tests at workplaces that gave them.
NEWS
September 18, 2013
The Sun's recent editorial regarding student testing ("Md. should skip the MSA," Sept. 17) offered thought-provoking insight, yielding additional perspective. Citizens are already advised that test scores will flatten next year as they did this year. No Child Left Behind has been underfunded, students may not be taught Maryland School Assessment material but will receive MSA testing, and the Core Curriculum asks teachers to teach critical thinking without specific guidelines as to how to do so. Education majors study lesson planning, not curriculum development and implementation, although their teacher evaluations and their jobs will depend on teaching Core Curriculum well.
NEWS
June 1, 2013
Anne Neal's recent commentary about St. Mary's College of Maryland misrepresents our curriculum ("Cautionary campus tale," May 30). Far from "anything goes," our Core Curriculum is anchored in four fundamental skills: critical thinking, information literacy, written expression and oral expression - skills that employers regularly implore us to build in our students. We are well aware that current economic conditions require colleges and universities to prepare our students for a competitive and dynamic work environment.
EXPLORE
November 15, 2011
Over the years, an awful lot of the responsibility of raising children has been pawned off on our school systems, and sometimes it appears to have been at the expense of the three Rs. And any properly schooled person can certainly tell you that the three R's aren't all classes that begin with R, being reading writing and arithmetic, or, in the tradition of the great American colloquialism of educational tradition: Readin' Ritin' and Rithmetic....
NEWS
By Nick Anderson, The Washington Post | February 11, 2011
Former Washington schools chancellor Michelle A. Rhee, known for her crusade to use standardized test scores to help evaluate teachers, is facing renewed scrutiny over her depiction of progress that her students made years ago when she was a schoolteacher. A former D.C. math teacher, Guy Brandenburg, posted on his blog a study that includes test scores from the Baltimore school where Rhee taught from 1992 to 1995. The post, dated Jan. 31, generated intense discussion in education circles this week.
NEWS
October 12, 2010
In response to the Sun's article "Some city teachers protest pact vote" (Oct. 12), I couldn't help but be concerned about the rushed persistence by the union to ratify a new contract. Beyond that I would like to add that it is shortsighted to believe our public schools would be better off if we rely only on the things that testing can measure. Not everything important to a meaningful education can be quantified. Should we simply ignore a student's ability to critically think, ignore their ability to raise creative questions, to seek alternative explanations, to pursue knowledge outside the rote preparation for tests?
NEWS
By Cal Ripken | September 24, 2006
I am the father of two sons, 14 and 11, who love playing baseball. I have coached both boys for years and I will be coaching my youngest again next summer. He will be a 12-year-old next season, has been an All Star for three years and is well-liked by the other kids. I think he and a few other older, skilled players have a lot to offer the younger or emerging players and I would like to use them to run basic skill drills during practice. I think this would help keep the skilled players more engaged during practice and it would free me up to help the kids who need it most.
NEWS
February 15, 2006
Strategy If layoffs needed, avoid surprises Some organizations may be too quick to cut employees, others too slow. The consequences of either mistake can be disastrous for a business. Sometimes downsizing the work force is the best, if not only, business decision, said John Sullivan, human resources consultant and author of "Rethinking Strategic HR: HR's Role in Building a Performance Culture." Sullivan said the most important thing to remember when considering layoffs is that no one should be surprised by a pink slip.
NEWS
By Liz F. Kay and Liz F. Kay,SUN STAFF | June 13, 2005
Some Maryland school districts are offering incoming ninth-graders extra help to ensure they'll surmount the newest obstacle between them and their high school diplomas: exit exams. The students are destined to be graduates in the Class of 2009, but only if they overcome High School Assessment tests in English, U.S. government, biology and algebra. High-schoolers have had to take the four exams since 2003, but incoming ninth-graders will have to earn a passing score on each - or obtain a minimum composite score on several tests - to graduate.
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