Children are Successful in School (Montgomery) (formerly School Success)
Why Is This Important?
High expectations for academic achievement for all students, combined with skilled teachers, sound curriculum, adequate instructional materials, and family involvement, are essential for student learning.
The percent of Montgomery County students who scored proficient or above in reading fell to 86 and 75 percent scored proficient or above in mathematics on the Maryland School Assessment in the 2013-14 school year.
Hispanic and African American students, low-income students, students with limited English proficiency and special education students all have gaps in achievement when compared to their counterparts. Local efforts in elementary schools are showing positive results, but achievement concerns remain at middle and high school levels. Research has identified a variety of factors that appear related to the achievement gap including students' racial and/or economic background; their parents' education level; and their access to high-quality preschool instruction, peer influences, teachers' expectations, and curricular and instructional quality.
In the 2013-14 school year, 8.5 percent or over 11,000 students were absent more than 20 days during the school year. Locally, the attendance rate declines and the truancy rate increases, as children get older. The truancy rate is higher among Hispanic students (10%), students receiving free and reduced priced meals (11.4 %) and students in special education (14.5%).
Youth can benefit from additional time or different settings and approaches to reinforce or enhance school-time learning.
Increased attention to social emotional and physical domains can increase engagement in learning and enhance in-school performance.
Children/youth without parents at home during afternoon or early evening hours need locations and support to complete school assignments.
Recent literature suggests that the achievement gap among African American and Hispanic students will not be closed by focusing solely on school factors, but complementary investments in after school and summer programs along with other social and economic supports are necessary. Many studies conducted over the past two decades point to the links between increased after school program participation and educational success, including greater engagement in learning and higher academic performance.
Research also indicates that truancy is both a cause and a consequence of many troubling behaviors, including dropping out of high school, high school expulsion, substance use, juvenile delinquency, weapon related violence, suicidal thoughts and attempts, and becoming sexually active at a young age.