Achievement gap for Montgomery students to be re-examined in February -- Gazette.Net


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The achievement gap between students of different races and backgrounds in Montgomery County Public Schools will be examined again in detail next month.

Montgomery County’s Office of Legislative Oversight is conducting a report studying student performance, set to be released Feb. 26, said Elaine Bonner-Tompkins, a senior legislative analyst.

Before that, on Feb. 12, the Montgomery County Board of Education will receive an update on the achievement gap, according to the school board agenda.

Although the school system may have seen a preview of the report at that time, school officials probably will not discuss its results, as they normally wait to discuss the reports until they are released publicly, Bonner-Tompkins said.

In the last decade, the school system has been focused on closing the gap in performance between certain subgroups of students, such as black and Hispanic students and their white and Asian peers.

In the county’s last report on the achievement gap, in 2008, the county found that “a significant gap by race persisted in rates of suspension and classification of students as gifted and in need of special education services due to having a disability,” according to an OLO document explaining the purpose of the new report.

The February report will compare the school system’s progress on closing gaps in performance since 2008, according to the document.

Specifically, the report will look at student’s performance on state tests such as the Maryland School Assessment, performance on other tests such as Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, SAT and ACT, and career and technology program completers, the document stated.

In the school system’s last report on the achievement gap, released last summer, the school system found that about one in four middle schools in Montgomery County, or 10 of 38 schools, successfully narrowed racial achievement gaps in test scores during a three-year period.

At that time, school system spokesman Dana Tofig said that the school system will be working in coming years to share best practices.

jbondeson@gazette.net