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By Liz Bowie and By Liz Bowie | March 4, 2014
Because some school districts lost two days of school during the last snow storm, Maryland education officials have given local school systems the flexibility to adjust the days they give the Maryland School Assessments. The state has extended the 12-day window that the reading and math tests can be given by two more days, until March 14. Make-up tests can be given between March 17-18. Local schools decide the exact four days they will give the tests - two for math and two for reading - within the 12-day window.
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NEWS
July 14, 2014
State education officials told us that scores on this year's Maryland School Assessment exams would go down, and that they most certainly did. Schools state-wide embarked last fall on their first full year of instruction tied to the Common Core standards, but the tests this spring were still tied to the old curriculum. The mismatch was such an obvious issue that many, from parents to some candidates for governor, advocated skipping the tests altogether on the grounds that they would be a waste of time and money.
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NEWS
March 18, 2011
Prayer at Tench Tilghman Elementary School was necessary for giving the students, staff and parents strength and hope in their given situation ("Prayer service at city school called improper," March 14). Regardless of any situation one may encounter, along with personal effort, prayer certainly works. Prayer is the key to everyone's success whether you realize it or not. Even if we are not praying ourselves, someone is always lifting our names in prayer. The Biblical passage in Philippians 4:6 states: "Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known unto God. " Keep praying Jael Yon, principal of Tench Tilgman Elementary School.
NEWS
By Amanda Hughes | April 23, 2014
While no standardized test can ever truly measure all that a child has learned or can do, the new Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) exam represents a vast improvement over the Maryland School Assessments (MSA). Both teachers and students are ready for this welcome shift. As a middle school English teacher in Baltimore County, I participated in the PARCC English Language Arts field test this year. Students were adequately prepared for the PARCC assessment.
NEWS
March 16, 2011
I don't know what was more disturbing about the article on a city school holding prayer services before the upcoming Maryland School Assessments, the fact that extra classes are being scheduled on Saturdays in order to get students prepared to pass a test that assesses basic knowledge or that the president of the city principal's union, Jimmy Gittings, knew that the prayer session wasn't constitutional and yet supported it anyway — two years...
NEWS
September 16, 2013
Why are state officials preparing to give students the Maryland School Assessment tests this year knowing that the exams can't and won't do what they're supposed to do, which is tell educators which schools are making progress and which are not? There's got to be a better use for the $9 million it costs Maryland to administer the exams each year, and the state shouldn't be wasting money on tests that don't tell us what we need to know. Maryland has used the MSA for a decade to evaluate the performance of schools and teachers.
NEWS
By Joe Burris, The Baltimore Sun | July 12, 2012
Elementary school results The following elementary schools in the Baltimore area had the highest percentage of students who passed. To see more rankings, go to baltimoresun.com. Shipley's Choice (Anne Arundel): 100% Rodgers Forge (Baltimore County): 100% Severna Park (Anne Arundel): 99.5% Chadwick (Baltimore County): 99.4% Mayo (Anne Arundel): 99.3%
NEWS
September 19, 2013
The usefulness of student assessment testing as a gauge of school progress has been debated for years. The argument in favor is that the tests are a tool to evaluate schools and teachers because the tests are tailored to what is being taught in the classroom - the curriculum. But what if the tests do not match the curriculum? The fundamental purpose of the tests would then be gone - test questions would not correspond to class lessons. Would it serve any purpose to give the test anyway?
NEWS
By Erica L. Green, The Baltimore Sun | July 3, 2011
As the Baltimore school system attempts to rebound from a series of cheating scandals and its first significant test score decline in years, leaders are considering a worrisome possibility: They might have hit a wall in educating children. Schools CEO Andrés Alonso, who signed a contract last week to stay on in the city for the next four years, has vowed to launch a school-by-school analysis of those that experienced declines on this year's Maryland School Assessments. In the short term, the system is exploring weekend academies for students in the fifth and eighth grades, groups that schools have long struggled to bring up to speed.
NEWS
March 5, 2003
THE MARYLAND School Performance Assessment Program, whose "Mizpap" acronym became a household word from Oakland to Ocean City, is officially retired. It has been replaced this week by the Maryland School Assessment (MSA), a six-hour battery of math and reading tests spread over four days in grades 3, 5 and 8 and reading only in grade 10. (Three more grades will be added later.) MSA begins a new era of school testing in Maryland, one that's scheduled to last a dozen years. Year one is crucial because scores on the tests given this week will form the basis on which schools are required to demonstrate "adequate yearly progress" through 2014.
NEWS
By Liz Bowie and By Liz Bowie | March 4, 2014
Because some school districts lost two days of school during the last snow storm, Maryland education officials have given local school systems the flexibility to adjust the days they give the Maryland School Assessments. The state has extended the 12-day window that the reading and math tests can be given by two more days, until March 14. Make-up tests can be given between March 17-18. Local schools decide the exact four days they will give the tests - two for math and two for reading - within the 12-day window.
NEWS
By Liz Bowie and Erica L. Green, The Baltimore Sun | March 3, 2014
The snow continued to play havoc with school schedules Monday, delaying the beginning of state testing in some places and keeping students home for yet another day. All Baltimore-area school systems have used more days than allotted in the school calendar for snow and must find ways to make up those days. School districts also are adjusting their schedules for state testing, which was scheduled to begin Tuesday in some counties, as some students still might have trouble getting to school or focusing on academics.
NEWS
January 21, 2014
Here's another fine example of educational double speak. We are told that the MSA test should not be administered this year because it is "an outdated test" ( "Brown supports moratorium on giving MSAs," Jan. 16). Previous articles have made it clear that the tests are outdated because students are being prepared to take the more "rigorous" Common Core tests in 2015. So let me get this straight. What the public and students are being told is, "We don't want students taking the MSA tests because we are preparing them to take harder tests; and therefore, they will not do as well as they usually do on the easier test.
NEWS
September 21, 2013
We read with interest The Baltimore Sun's recent editorial calling for Maryland schools to skip testing every student in grades 3-8 this year because new assessments aligned to the curriculum will not be available until the 2014-2015 school year (" Md. should skip the MSA ," Sept. 16). Like the Sun's editorial board, we wish everything in education could be perfect before a change is made, but unlike the Sun editors, we cannot afford to turn our backs on students while waiting for our assessments to catch up to the curriculum.
NEWS
September 19, 2013
The usefulness of student assessment testing as a gauge of school progress has been debated for years. The argument in favor is that the tests are a tool to evaluate schools and teachers because the tests are tailored to what is being taught in the classroom - the curriculum. But what if the tests do not match the curriculum? The fundamental purpose of the tests would then be gone - test questions would not correspond to class lessons. Would it serve any purpose to give the test anyway?
NEWS
September 16, 2013
Why are state officials preparing to give students the Maryland School Assessment tests this year knowing that the exams can't and won't do what they're supposed to do, which is tell educators which schools are making progress and which are not? There's got to be a better use for the $9 million it costs Maryland to administer the exams each year, and the state shouldn't be wasting money on tests that don't tell us what we need to know. Maryland has used the MSA for a decade to evaluate the performance of schools and teachers.
NEWS
By Liz Bowie, The Baltimore Sun | September 16, 2013
Maryland wants to continue annual assessments of students this year at a cost of about $6 million, even though the scores wouldn't be used to gauge school progress - one of the main reasons for giving the tests. State officials, in plans to be considered by the Maryland State Board of Education this month, said they would continue to give the Maryland School Assessments to comply with federal law. But, they said, the results won't provide reliable data for evaluating schools and teachers because the tests are geared to curriculum that's being phased out. The new common core curriculum, launched this year in every public school in the state, won't have new assessments to match until the 2014-2015 school year.
SPORTS
By Doug Brown and Doug Brown,Sun Staff Writer | February 16, 1994
She swept in from an international meet in Paris to swim against the boys in 1976, the first year girls were allowed in the Maryland Scholastic Association Championships.Wendy Weinberg, a Friends School senior who later that year won an Olympic bronze medal in the 800-meter freestyle, plunged in that night with the MSA's best 500-yard freestylers: Calvert Hall's Shawn Dooley and Loyola's Kevin Shaughness.And nearly beat them.If the race had been longer, say an 800, her specialty, she probably would have.
NEWS
By Liz Bowie, The Baltimore Sun | September 16, 2013
Maryland wants to continue annual assessments of students this year at a cost of about $6 million, even though the scores wouldn't be used to gauge school progress - one of the main reasons for giving the tests. State officials, in plans to be considered by the Maryland State Board of Education this month, said they would continue to give the Maryland School Assessments to comply with federal law. But, they said, the results won't provide reliable data for evaluating schools and teachers because the tests are geared to curriculum that's being phased out. The new common core curriculum, launched this year in every public school in the state, won't have new assessments to match until the 2014-2015 school year.
NEWS