The following are among actions scheduled for consideration at tonight's meeting of the Prince George's County Board of Education. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. in the Sasscer Administration Building, 14201 School La., Upper Marlboro. For more information, call 952-6000.
CALIFORNIA ACHIEVEMENT TEST SCORES -- The board is expected to hear how well county students did last fall on one of education's major standardized exams, the California Achievement Test.
According to school officials, who released preliminary results last week, county student scores took their biggest jump in one year, with elementary school students posting the greatest gains.
Test results also show that black students, whose scores have lagged behind those of white students and other minority students, recorded their highest scores ever, surpassing the 60th percentile.
Scores of third graders last fall reached the 73rd percentile, a jump of 8 percentage points from a year earlier and the highest level ever posted by any grade in the county. Fifth-graders'scores increased 7 percentage points, to reach the 69th percentile. Eighth-graders scored at the 67th percentile, a 3 percentage point rise.
Officials said the gap between black and white students' scores has narrowed since 1984 -- the first year local and state officials analyzed the results between the two groups.
For example, the gap between blacks and whites was 25 points among third-graders in 1984 but was 17 points in the most recent tests. During the same period, the gap between the two groups among fifth-graders dropped from 25 points to 20 points and among eighth-graders from 24 to 22 points.
The California Achievement Test is given annually to third-, fifth- and eighth-graders and in alternate years to 11th-graders. The test is a general measure of reading, mathematics, spelling and language skills and is required in all Maryland schools.
DRUG AND ALCOHOL STUDY -- The board is expected to act on member Angelo I. Castelli's resolution asking school officials to study whether first offenses for possession of any amount of drugs or alcohol on school property should be grounds for expulsion.
Castelli, who said he wants to rid the school system of drugs, said if the staff determines that penalties for drug and alcohol offenses should be stricter, he will introduce a resolution to amend the county school system's Code of Student Conduct to make all offenses in the two categories punishable by expulsion.
Currently, the code punishes students found guilty of drug and alcohol offenses with five-day suspensions or expulsions, depending on the amount of drugs or alcohol involved and how many times a student is caught.
Castelli said his intent is to make punishment for drug and alcohol offenses comparable to the penalty of expulsion for possession of weapons on school grounds.
STATE TEST SCORES -- The board is expected to hear how well high school students did on last fall's Maryland Functional Reading and Math tests.
The two tests are among four the state Department of Education requires of students before they can graduate. Students also must pass functional citizenship and writing tests.
The tests are given to ninth-graders annually. Students who fail any of the tests must take them each year until they pass.
NEW SCHOOL NAME -- The board will hear a resolution by Chairman Barbara F. Martin and member Thomas R. Hendershot asking officials to change the name of the newly renovated Cheverly-Tuxedo Happy Acres Elementary School to the Gladys Noon Spellman Elementary School, in honor of the representative from Maryland's fifth congressional district who suffered a heart attack in 1980 and has been in a coma since.