Office of the Superintendent of Schools
MONTGOMERY COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS
March 22, 2002
To: Middle School Principals
From: Jerry D. Weast, Superintendent of Schools
Subject: Update on MSPAP for Grade 8 This Year
Given that middle school principals have indicated that the time currently
scheduled for the administration of the Maryland School Performance
Assessment Program (MSPAP) will be used appropriately for classroom
instructional and assessment activities, I am moving forward to suspend the
administration of MSPAP for Grade 8 this year. Dr. Nancy S. Grasmick, state
superintendent of schools, notified all school system superintendents today
that MSPAP will be required in Grade 8 in only those districts with middle
schools receiving federal Title I funds. Since none of our middle schools
receive Title I funds, this excludes our school district for the
administration of MSPAP in Grade 8 this year. The Board of Education had
previously approved authorization to suspend MSPAP in Grade 8, pending this
notification. MSPAP will be administered as scheduled in Grades 3 and 5 in
all school districts.
I have informed the Board of Education that the absence of MSPAP for Grade 8
does not remove the responsibility of middle school principals and teachers
to provide eighth grade students with appropriate and timely measures of
assessment and feedback about their ongoing academic performance this spring.
Teachers and principals should use the previously scheduled testing period
during the week of April 29 for quality instructional opportunities. As
middle school principals have also indicated, the time will be greatly
appreciated by teachers who are preparing eighth graders for final semester
exams and transitional activities for high school.
The suspension of MSPAP in Grade 8 is for this year only, since the state has
announced plans to implement a replacement test next spring in Grade 8, as
well as Grades 3 and 5. By school year 2004-2005, the state intends to have
grade-level assessments for all students in grades 3 through 8.
A sample letter for students and parents is attached. I will continue to
keep you informed.
Elementary and High School Principals