Home >> A Issues >> Nclbwork >> Uniting to Beat the Odds

Search form

Uniting to Beat the Odds

Faced with rock-bottom scores on the first version of Marylands state tests, staff at Rock Hall Elementary School raised standards for students and increased professional development for teachers, and saw scores climb. Included: Keys to a school's turnaround.

This is an excerpt from an article by Karin Chenoweth of The Achievement Alliance that appeared in The Washington Post:

"Rock Hall [Elementary School] on the Eastern Shore in Kent County, Maryland, has about 200 students, 60 percent of whom meet the federal standards for free and reduced-price meals. Seventy-five percent of the students are white, 25 percent African American, and 21 percent of the students are identified as having disabilities," Chenoweth wrote.

"Last year, 100 percent of the fourth-graders met state reading standards (28 percent exceeded them) and 100 percent of the third-graders met state math standards (40 percent exceeded them)," according to the article.

"'We don't prepare specially for the new Maryland state tests, the MSAs, which replaced the old MSPAPs,'" said Bess Eagle, Rock Hall's principal, in the article. "'We decided to focus on reading and writing, and we teach science and social studies as part of that

"'To get the results we have gotten, you have to begin with a caring staff, and they need to know a great deal,''' Eagle said in the article. "'My teachers are highly trained in reading instruction. They go to conferences and learn the most effective teaching methods to teach reading using motor skills, sight, sound, and touch.'"


Some of the information in this article comes from the U.S. Department of Education. To learn more about this article, you might read:

  • Much Better Than Adequate Progress
    This news article appeared in The Washington Post on April 4, 2006. Note: This link was live at the time of publication. Some newspaper Web sites require registration. Others retain complete news stories for a limited time.

Share Your NCLB Strategies

Education World's Working With NCLB feature highlights schools or districts with stories to share about how they are implementing requirements of the federal No Child Left Behind Act. If you have a Working With NCLB story to share, send an e-mail to Ellen Delisio.