April 21, 2011

School board vice chairman sees bright future in following Maryland district's plan

Palm Beach County School Board Vice Chairwoman Debra Robinson wants to look to a Washington D.C. Beltway county to learn how to improve student academic achievement in Palm Beach County.

"This is my new model school district. They are doing some outstanding things," said Robinson, as she requested the board hold a series of workshops to study the initiatives used by the Montgomery County School District in Maryland to try to increase student achievement and get students better prepared for college.

Robinson suggested studying Montgomery County schools' "Seven Keys to College Readiness" program. According to the Montgomery County School District's website, that program sets forth seven goals students try to achieve ranging from completing advanced level reading classes by the second grade to getting a C or better on Algebra I by eighth grade and scoring a 1650 on SAT tests.

Montgomery County, which contains some affluent suburbs of Washington, D.C., such as Bethesda and Rockville, has one of the highest median household incomes of any county in the nation, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The Montgomery County School District has about 140,000 students.

Robinson said she has requested data from Montgomery County's school district about their graduation rates, and their third grade reading and eighth grade algebra participation. Robinson said the Palm Beach County district could learn some things from Montgomery County about how to close the academic achievement gap among students. SOURCE: Palm Beach Post

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