Holabird, Sparrows Point middles do well in assessments
Wednesday, 18 July 2012 09:19

Dundalk, Stricker middle schools show progress

by Bill Gates

    The four middle schools in Dundalk-Edgemere all showed a degree of progress in the Maryland State Assessment test scores released last week.
    Overall, Baltimore County middle schools made gains in both mathematics while regressing slightly in reading.
    County students improved in mathematics from 72.5 percent proficient or advanced in 2011 to 74 percent in 2012.
    In reading, county middle school students dropped from 82.9 percent proficient or advanced in 2011 to 81.7 percent in 2012.
    While the reading scores dropped, they were still consistent with middle school reading test scores throughout Maryland.

“We have made it a priority to focus on middle school academic performance in the coming year, and the MSA results underscore the importance of this task,” Baltimore County Schools Superintendent S. Dallas Dance said. “The data in this year’s MSA report gives us a great opportunity to hone in on the areas we need to improve.”
    Schools this year were measured by targets that were specific to each each school and each subgroup, called Annual Measurable Objectives (AMO).
    Each school’s performance was measured against itself rather than against other schools, and the AMOs were unique for each school and each subgroup.
    Sparrows Point and Holabird middle schools each met all of their objectives in all five categories: reading proficiency percentage, reading participation rate, math proficiency percentage, math participation rate and attendance.
     “Our focus at Holabird Middle has been to provide our students with high-quality instruction which focuses on engagement, authentic learning, vocabulary development and higher-level thinking,” Holabird principal Julie Dellone said.
    “The results are evident. We saw great gains in the area of math in all subgroups. We continue to see steady progress in reading,” Dellone said.
    Holabird students had their proficient/advanced percentage improve by two percent in sixth- and seventh-grade reading, while dropping by three percent in eighth-grade reading from 2011.
    In math proficient/advanced percentage, Holabird’s sixth graders showed a slight drop while the seventh graders jumped nearly 19 percentage points and the eighth grade by 10 points.
    “During my first year, I was truly impressed with the students’ perseverance and desire to improve their own achievement,” Dellone said. “Each student set a goal for his or her individual achievement on MSA and in the classroom.
    “Teachers discussed the goals that each student set with the students throughout the year.”
    Sparrows Point Middle sixth graders increased their reading proficiency/advanced percentage from 88 percent to 92 percent, while eighth grade improved by two points to 89 percent and the seventh grade experienced a drop from 86 percent to 78.
    In math, Sparrows Point sixth graders improved from 88 to 94 percent, the seventh grade improved from 85 to 90 percent, and eighth grade from 73 to 87 percent.
    (Note: percentages are rounded up or down to nearest whole number.)
    Dundalk and General John Stricker middle schools did not meet AMO targets for percentage of reading proficiency, but did attain the AMO for reading participation rate, math proficiency, math participation rate and attendance.
    Dundalk Middle’s reading proficiency for sixth graders stayed at 71 percent from 2011, while seventh graders saw a drop from 79 to 75 and the eighth grade from 82 to 81.
    In math, Dundalk Middle sixth graders leapt from 58 to 80 in proficient/advanced percentage, while the seventh grade dropped from 67 to 58 and the eighth grade rose from 58 to 62 percent.
    “I am pleased to see our students’ math scores improved and that we made significant gains in sixth-grade math,” Dundalk Middle principal Seth Barish said. “We are working hard to increase our reading achievement and align our reading initiatives to support all of our students.”
    General John Stricker sixth graders dropped three points in reading, but still had a respectable 77 percent proficiency/advanced percentage.
    The seventh grade had its percentage drop from 78 to 72, while eighth graders fell from 83 to 75.
    In math, Stricker sixth graders stayed about the same from 2011, dropping slightly from 73.7 to 72.1 percent.
    The seventh grade had its math proficiency/advanced percentage increase from 64 to 66 percent, while eighth grade dropped from 71 to 68 percent.
    While the scores dropped, they did still meet the school’s AMO.
    For complete test results for each school, go to www.mdreportcard.org.
    Next week: how local elementary schools did in the MSA.