It puts Frederick County schools on top in the state.
A new assessment method is in place to measure progress in the state's schools. The Maryland State Department of Education has developed the "School Progress Index," which replaces the Adequate Yearly Progress under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.
"What we've done is changed our accountability system from looking at schools in one way to looking at schools in multiple ways," says MSDE spokesman Bill Reinhard. "School Progress Index looks not only how a school is doing overall with their test scores in math and reading, but also how are they doing as far reducing gaps in achievement between subgroups which might be struggling," Reinhard says.
He says some of those subgroups could be students in lower socio-economic groups, or students with specific racial and ethnic classifications, or those with special needs or where English is not their predominant tongue. "It really looks at whatever a school has had some difficulty with, and how it's improving over time," he says.
In additon, Reinhard says, this new assessment process lets a school system put its resources where they're most needed. "This plan makes it easier to see where a school might having some difficulty," says Reindhard. "It used to be based on just overall achievement in the school. We want to make sure to look a little more deeply into how schools are doing."
The "School Progress Index" was recently put in place, and this assessment process shows Frederick County Public Schools as number one in the state. "These results are further evidence of the excellence of our schools, students and teachers," says Dr. Theresa Albans, FCPS Superintendent, in a statement. "FCPS is hleping to build a strong and thriving Frederick County by delivering exceptional results."
MSDE developed this system after it was given a waiver by the federal government to the No Child Left Behind Act. "I think educators and parents will find a lot more useful information about their school," says Reinhard.
To find out more, go to www.MdReportCard.org.