• News Release: PGCPS Makes MSA Math Gains, Holds Steady in Reading

    July 10, 2012
    For Immediate Release
    Office of Communications

    UPPER MARLBORO, MD. -- Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) posted slight gains in mathematics while holding steady in reading on the 2012 Maryland School Assessment (MSA).

    The scores, released Tuesday by the Maryland State Department of Education, show that increased focus on teacher training, academic interventions and course rigor are making a difference in student achievement.

    “These results indicate that we are continuing to move in the right direction,” said Dr. William R. Hite, Superintendent of Schools. “Our investments in increasing early reading skills will pay off down the line, just as our work to improve math performance is paying off now. We are maintaining our progress in reading scores for student subgroups while making slight gains in math.”

    “Though we are pleased with our progress, we know that much work remains to boost student achievement throughout Prince George’s County Public Schools,” said Verjeana M. Jacobs, Board of Education Chair. “We will continue to work with teachers, administrators and the community in giving all students the best opportunities for bright futures.”

    For most grade levels, MSA performance on both tests generally improved from 2011 to 2012. Math scores increased at every grade level except for a small dip in fourth grade. Reading scores improved for fourth through sixth grades, and fell slightly for third, seventh and eighth grades. 


    Grade 2011 2012 2011 2012
    3 79.1 78.6 78 80
    4 82.8 83.3 84 81.7
    5 83.9 84.1 72.6 75.5
    6 78.2 79.3 72.7 76.4
    7 75.1 71 59.7 61
    8 70.8 69.6 43.7 50.4


    Among elementary schools, including kindergarten through eighth grade academies, 21 scored at 90 percent or higher in reading. Heather Hills, Tulip Grove and Whitehall were the highest-performing elementary schools.

    Doswell E. Brooks Elementary made the highest gains in reading, making an impressive leap from 75 percent in 2011 to 91.7 percent in 2012 -- a 16.2 percentage point increase. Glassmanor Elementary followed with a 10.4 percentage point increase, moving from 70.7 percent in 2011 to 81.1 percent in 2012.

    Elementary schools showing gains of 7 percentage points or more in reading include:

    School MSA Reading 2012
    MSA Reading 2011
    MAGNOLIA ELEMENTARY 91.6% 84.5% 7.1
    SAMUEL CHASE ELEMENTARY 85.0% 77.6% 7.4
    GLENN DALE ELEMENTARY 95.1% 86.1% 9.0
    KENMOOR ELEMENTARY 85.3% 75.5% 9.8
    GLASSMANOR ELEMENTARY 81.1% 70.7% 10.4
    DOSWELL E. BROOKS ELEMENTARY 91.7% 75.0% 16.7

    Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School scored 90 percent in reading this year, increasing from 88.2 percent in 2011, besting the state average of 82.1 percent.


    At the elementary level, 13 schools scored at 90 percent or higher in math. Glenn Dale, Heather Hills and Tulip Grove were the highest-performing elementary schools.

    In math, Glenn Dale Elementary made the most impressive gains, moving from 75.1 percent in 2011 to 96.5 percent in 2012, an increase of 21.4 percentage points. Cora L. Rice Elementary followed with an increase of 15.5 percentage points, from 69.8 percent proficient in 2011 to 85.3 percent proficient in 2012.

    Elementary schools with MSA math scores improving by 10 percentage points or more include:

    School MSA Math 2012
    MSA Math 2011
    GLASSMANOR ELEMENTARY 83.6% 72.9% 10.7
    YORKTOWN ELEMENTARY 88.5% 77.2% 11.3
    ROSA L. PARKS ELEMENTARY 82.3% 70.6% 11.7
    KENMOOR ELEMENTARY 80.1% 68.0% 12.1
    PATUXENT ELEMENTARY 88.3% 75.1% 13.2
    LAMONT ELEMENTARY 83.6% 69.4% 14.2
    HIGHLAND PARK ELEMENTARY 92.0% 77.0% 15.0
    CORA L. RICE ELEMENTARY 85.3% 69.8% 15.5
    GLENN DALE ELEMENTARY 96.5% 75.1% 21.4

    Among middle schools, Martin Luther King Jr. was PGCPS' highest-performing with 85.6 percent in math, exceeding the state average of 76.2 percent. Three middle schools made double-digit gains in math this year. Hyattsville Middle School increased its scores by 13.3 percentage points, moving from 50.2 percent in 2011 to 63.5 percent in 2012. Kenmoor had the second-highest increase with 12.2 percentage points, going from 60.9 percent in 2011 to 73.1 percent in 2012. Benjamin Stoddert Middle School gained 10.3 percentage points in math this year.

    Other middle schools that showed math increases of 6 percentage points or more include:

    School Proficient/Advanced 2012 Proficient/Advanced 2011 Change
    MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. MIDDLE 85.6% 79.0% 6.6
    GREENBELT MIDDLE 64.6% 57.8% 6.8
    JAMES MADISON MIDDLE 54.1% 47.0% 7.1
    G. JAMES GHOLSON MIDDLE 37.9% 30.3% 7.6
    BENJAMIN STODDERT MIDDLE 41.5% 31.2% 10.3
    KENMOOR MIDDLE 73.1% 60.9% 12.2
    HYATTSVILLE MIDDLE 63.5% 50.2% 13.3

    Positive trends

    The latest MSA data shows a five-year trend of steady gains in reading and math test scores. Data shows that eighth graders have made significant gains in reading since 2008 with a jump of 12.8 percentage points. In math, sixth graders have increased 9.4 percentage points over the past five years, from 67 percent in 2008 to 76.4 in 2012.

    PGCPS has implemented several strategies to improve student achievement over the years, such as better aligning the curriculum to state standards, providing targeted professional development to address areas of low performance, holding focus groups with teachers to get input on instructional strategies and conducting assessments with students throughout the year to determine when interventions are needed.

    Overall, MSA passing rates have improved at all grade levels since 2004 with percentage point gains ranging from 17.2 to 33.7 in reading, and from 23 to 39.9 in math. Data shows that fifth graders have made significant increases in reading since 2004, with a jump of 33.7 percentage points to 84.4 percent proficient in 2012. In math, sixth graders have shown gains of 39.9 points since 2004.

    Statewide, system and local school MSA data is available on the Maryland State Department of Education’s report card website at www.mdreportcard.org.  


    Maryland NCLB Flexibility

    Today’s data release marks the first under Maryland’s recently granted flexibility regarding the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law. Under NCLB law, all students must be scoring at proficient levels by 2014, and progress toward that goal was gauged by a statewide measurement known as Adequate Yearly Progress. Under Maryland’s new “School Progress” plan, each school is measured against its own targets, and must work to strengthen achievement across all subgroups.

    Schools and systems must work to hit improvement targets, known as annual measureable objectives (AMOs). AMOs will be calculated for the student population in each school as well as for special service and racial subgroups.

    This year, 105 of 165 PGCPS elementary and middle schools met AMO targets.

    Under the School Progress calculation, nearly 85 percent (84.8 percent) of Maryland schools met the AMO targets for this baseline year. The targets will continue to rise over through the next six years.


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    Prince George's County Public Schools (PGCPS), one of the nation's 25 largest school districts, has 208 schools and centers, more than 130,000 students and nearly 19,000 employees. Under the leadership of Chief Executive Officer Dr. Kevin M. Maxwell, the school system serves a diverse student population from urban, suburban and rural communities located in the Washington, DC suburbs. PGCPS is nationally recognized for innovative programs and initiatives that provide students with unique learning opportunities, including arts integration, environmental and financial literacy, and language immersion.