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Montgomery County Public Schools’ (MPCS) targeted approach raises the bar and reduces the gap

A call to action

MCPS in 1999 issued a formal call to action on school reform, highlighting the disparities that plagued the school system and identifying the district’s red zone where schools and students struggled. The call to action and its emphasis on disparities within the district set the stage for reforms and progress over the next 10 years.  Read More
 

Setting college as the goal and mapping backward

The Montgomery County school district set a goal that all students finish high school ready for college and well-paid careers. This goal allowed MCPS to map backward – all the way to early childhood programs and interventions – and identify key skills that students must master in order to be college-ready by the end of 12th grade. The focus on college readiness provides all students with the chance to pursue a college education, and it prepares those who won’t attend college for a world of careers that now demands higher skills, critical thinking, and often post-secondary training for jobs with good pay. Workers with college degrees or other post-secondary training earn significantly more than those with only high school diplomas.  Read More
 

High expectations for all students

Despite the emphasis on disparities in the school district’s 1999 call to action, it was some years later when district officials engaged in a concerted and explicit effort to tackle the challenges of race and ethnicity. The district had narrowed the gaps between African American and Latino students and their white counterparts, but large gaps remained. To improve this situation, the district put an emphasis on high expectations.  Read More
 

Investing in teachers

Because teacher quality drives student success, MCPS reorganized its teacher development efforts. The district has put in place a comprehensive system of training, mentoring and standards-based evaluation in order to match the district’s demanding expectations with high levels of support for teachers and administrators. MCPS aims for training that spurs real results for students, focusing on cooperative action by school staff to deliver rigorous instruction in varied ways that can meet the needs of different students.  Read More
 

Positive results

Montgomery County Public Schools has created effective district-wide systems for continuous improvement and has produced measurable academic progress for students of color, as well as white students.  Read More


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