Howard County MSA Scores Similar to 2011
The county says a "technical error" caused two schools to fail in meeting goals for special education students, and the state will recalculate.
The Maryland State Department of Education released scores for school districts in the 2012 Maryland State Assessment (MSA) and the Howard County Public School System mostly saw slight increases, but not without a hitch.
Two schools in the HCPSS system–Clarksville Middle School in Clarksville and Mount View Middle School in Marriottsville–failed to meet requirements in their special education groups, according to a HCPSS press release. But, according to county school officials, there was an error in calculating the proficiency scores and they will be recalculated by the state.
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"The inaccurate results are due to a highly unusual technical error, at no fault of the students, teachers, or administrators," said a statement from HCPSS released on Tuesday.
According to Rebecca Amani-Dove, student assessment evaluator for the county, several special education students for both schools were not properly identified as such while scores were transmitted to the state.
"It had to do with the identification of students as members of that student group," Amani-Dove said. "Additional students should have been identified as members of the special education student group."
Amani-Dove said this error did not affect the rest of the results for the schools, and that both schools scored at least "proficient" in the special education group for the 2011 MSA.
Both schools have math and reading proficiency scores of 97 percent or higher in the groups not including special education students, according to HCPSS.
HCPSS scores increased in three of the four main categories, with the percentage of students scoring "proficient" or "advanced" increasing for elementary reading, elementary mathematics and middle school mathematics.
The percentage of middle schools students who scored "proficient" or "advanced" in reading decreased from 92.7 to 90.9 percent since 2011. This trend mirrored results across the state, according to HCPSS.
Since the state began administering the MSA in 2003, HCPSS has increased the percentages of elementary students scoring "advanced" in reading from 33.4 to 51.5 percent. The number of middle school students who scored advanced in reading increased from 46.2 to 61.9 percent, the district said.
The number of elementary school students with "advanced" scores in mathematics has also increased since 2003, from 27.2 to 55.7 percent. Middle school "advanced" scores rose from 25.8 percent to 52 percent.
The public can view MSA scores by school on the MSA website.
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