Maryland's education agency has reversed its initial rating of seven Prince George's County public schools, officials said yesterday, concluding that they met state academic standards for adequate progress during the last school year.
Although the State Department of Education upheld county appeals for those schools, it rejected appeals for 25 others. The appeals were centered on concerns over reading and mathematics scores on tests taken in March in grades 3 through 8 by certain disabled students who receive special education.
The developments mean that two Prince George's schools initially placed on a state watch list in June -- Apple Grove Elementary in Fort Washington and High Bridge Elementary in Bowie -- will be removed from the list.
The other five schools that won academic standards appeals were Dwight D. Eisenhower Middle School in Laurel, Eugene Burroughs Middle School in Accokeek, Arrowhead Elementary in Upper Marlboro, Owens Road Elementary in Oxon Hill and Waldon Woods Elementary in Clinton.
Leroy Tompkins, chief accountability officer for the Prince George's system, said the state should have upheld more of the county's appeals. But he said he was pleased that at least seven additional schools were judged to have met state standards.
"The state is at least taking a step in the right direction," Tompkins said.
Under the federal No Child Left Behind law and elaborate rules that vary from state to state, schools that fail to make adequate progress two years in a row are placed on watch lists. Repeated failure can draw progressively steeper sanctions. Repeated success takes schools off the watch lists. A final state tally of elementary and middle schools that failed to make adequate progress in the last school year is pending.