Montgomery County legislative analysts are preparing to deliver an update next month on how Montgomery County Public Schools have spent the past five years addressing the achievement gap, The Gazette reported this week.
The County Council’s Office of Legislative Oversight is set to release the report on the performance gap between white and Asian students and their black and Hispanic classmates on Feb. 26, The Gazette reported.
The report will examine the school system’s progress in narrowing gaps in performance on standardized tests and on other measures, such as suspension, graduation and drop-out rates and completion of career and technology education programs, according to a council document detailing OLO’s work plan.
The agenda for the county school board’s Feb. 12 meeting in Rockville includes an “Update on the Achievement Gap.”
The nonpartisan office last reported on the gap in January 2008.
The 2008 report included nine findings. Among them:
- The school system’s strategic plan and annual reports show a commitment to closing the achievement gap.
- The achievement gap varied widely across the 43 performance measures examined, from the number of students in each racial and ethnic subgroup reading by spring of their kindergarten school year, to suspensions, disability identifications, and drop-out rates for high- and low-performing students.
- “Significant gaps” existed between racial and ethnic groups when identifying students as gifted or as having a disability.
- MCPS made some progress in narrowing the achievement gap.
- MCPS showed greater progress in narrowing the gap between white and Hispanic students than between white and black students.
- MCPS showed greater progress in increasing achievement among students with limited English skills than among special education and low-income students.
The report also made several recommendations, including that school officials work with the council’s Education Committee to discuss how the school system’s budget addresses the gap and how successful MCPS initiatives such as smaller class sizes and countywide all-day kindergarten addressed the gap.