MCPS in the News
Read recent news stories of interest.
NBC Nightly News-President Obama Announces Changes to No Child Left Behind Law
Summary: President Obama announces changes to some key provisions of the "No Child Left Behind" law essentially gutting the Bush administration's key education initiative
September 23, 2011
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Washington Post-Montgomery County is paving the way for new school standards
September 3, 2011
Summary: Maryland’s largest school system is rolling out an updated curriculum,
soon to be marketed across the country, that coheres with new standards for what
students are expected to learn. It was on display the first week of school at Brookhaven Elementary School in Rockville.
Montgomery County's New Superintendent Joshua Starr
June 14, 2011
Summary: Montgomery County students and faculty will have a new superintendent next school year. Joshua Starr is replacing Dr. Jerry Weast, who is retiring at the end of this month. Starr joined us in-studio to discuss the upcoming school year and his plans for the county.
Montgomery County School's New Superintendent Joshua Starr : MyFoxDC.com
Education Week: Diplomas County 2011—MCPS No. 1 in the Nation at 85.7 %
June 7, 2011
Summary: A new analysis of high school completion from the Editorial Projects in Education Research Center finds that the national graduation rate stands at 71.7 percent for the class of 2008, the most recent year for which data are available. The highest level of graduation for the nation’s public high schools since the 1980s, this result also marks a significant turnaround following two consecutive years of declines and stagnation.
New York Times: Helping Teachers Help Themselves
June 5, 2011
Summary: ROCKVILLE, Md. — The Montgomery County Public Schools system here has a highly regarded program for evaluating teachers, providing them extra support if they are performing poorly and getting rid of those who do not improve.
American Association of School Administrators (online article): What's Behind a School Division's Baldrige Success?
February, 16, 2010
Summary: Montgomery County, Md., Public Schools has been named one of seven 2010 recipients of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the nation's highest presidential honor for performance excellence. MCPS was the only school division named, the other recipients were business and health care related. Superintendent Jerry Weast answers AASA's questions about his school division's win.
WTTG Fox 5 News: Live interview with Superintendent Dr. Jerry Weast discussing a pending operating budget vote by the Board of Education and also discussing recent news about Advanced Placement success in Montgomery County Public Schools
February, 14, 2011
National Public Radio: How Important Is Economic Diversity In Schools?
October, 18, 2010
Summary: A new study shows that low-income students perform better in schools with economic diversity. Host Michel Martin discusses the study with Richard Kahlenberg, a senior fellow at the Century Foundation behind the study, and Jerry Weast, superintendent of Montgomery County Public Schools.
WRC Ch 4 NBC: Live interview segment
October, 1, 2010
Summary: Superintendent Jerry Weast discusses, in a live segment, why Montgomery County Public Schools focus on high expectations equals exciting results.
Gazette: Montgomery County Public Schools system sees big jump in average SAT scores
September, 15, 2010
Summary: Montgomery County Public Schools students who graduated this past school year achieved the highest average SAT score in the school system's history, while black and Hispanic students posted the biggest improvement in SAT scores, according to information released by the school system.
Washington Post: Washington area SAT scores mostly improve while nationwide performance is flat
September, 14, 2010
Summary: SAT scores of college-bound high school seniors were flat nationwide this year, even as some students in the Washington region sharply improved their performance, according to data released Monday by the College Board and local school officials. Montgomery County public school students posted record-high scores of 1653, and the school system took steps to narrow the persistent achievement gap between white and Asian American students and their black and Hispanic peers.
NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams: Video
September, 13, 2010
Summary: Belmont Elementary School in Onley is featured for hosting the Project Change bullying awareness program.
Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy
Scholastic Administrator Magazine: College Prep Starts in PreK
Summary: A districts 10-year march pays off with higher graduation rates, top ranked schools, and a shrinking achievement gap.
WAMU–Radio: Pre-K Programs In Md. Get Praise
August, 31, 2010
Summary: A study by the Pew Center on the States is highlighting success in Maryland's Montgomery County Schools and pointing to the pre-kindergarten programs as a vital component. The Pew Center's Marci Young says the study looked at a decade of data and found the extra time in school during pre-k was critical to the district's success.
Listen to the radio report
U.S. News & World Report—Politics and Policy: A Model for Education Consensus Faces an Uncertain Future
August, 30, 2010
Summary: Today is the first day of school in our suburban jurisdiction. The bus stops were crowded with parents, taking photographs of the new first graders and kindergarten kids.
It is a fairly momentous day, as well, because the local school superintendent has announced he is retiring at the end of this school year. Since 1999, Montgomery County, Md. Superintendent Jerry Weast has done a spectacular job keeping test scores and graduation rates up and closing the gap between white and not-so-white kids in our wealthy but rapidly urbanizing county, where minority populations are now the majority in many schools.
WRC–NBC Ch4: Students Return in Maryland's Largest School District
August, 30, 2010
Summary: Students in Maryland's largest school district went back to school this morning. Approximately 1,100 yellow school buses hit the roads in Montgomery County as classes reopened for about 144,000 children. Enrollment has increased by approximately 2,000 students since last year.
WJLA CH7-TBD: Maryland students head back to school
August, 30, 2010
Summary: Another wave of buses and back to school traffic hit the road today. Students in Charles and Howard counties are back in class. It's also the first day back to school in Montgomery County, where some big changes are in the works.
WTTG Fox 5: Superintendent Dr. Jerry Weast-Live Interview
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Summary: Superintendent Jerry Weast appears live on local WTTG Fox 5 to discuss the August 28 Back To School Fair and also to give a preview of the new school year beginning on August 30.
The Gazette: Seven High Schools Named to Newsweek Top 100 in US
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Summary: The county public school system has seven high schools on Newsweek magazine's list of the top 100 public high schools in the nation, the most of any school system. High schools are named to the top 100 list based on their ability to provide all students with access to Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate classes. Last year, the school system placed four schools on the Newsweek top-100 list. The county school system is the only one in Maryland to have high schools on the top-100 list
Fox 5 News: Interview with Superintendent Weast Highlights MCPS' #1 Graduation Rate and Record Accomplishments of the Class of 2010 (Windows Media )
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Summary: Superintendent Jerry D. Weast discusses the MCPS Operating Budget and highlights Montgomery County Public Schools' graduation rate—number one among the nation's 50 largest school districts, according to the Diplomas Count 2010 report, published by Education Week. The MCPS graduation rate of 83.1 percent is significantly higher than the rate for the state of Maryland or for the nation. Record SAT scores and more than $232 million in scholarships are among the accomplishments of the Class of 2010. Dr. Weast also talks about a new partnership with Pearson, an international provider of education materials, to develop a unique integrated curriculum designed to prepare elementary school students for lifelong learning.
WRC NBC4 News: Superintendent Weast also appeared on Ch 4 discussing these same topics. (Windows Media )
The Washington Post: Global firm to pay Montgomery, Md., schools millions for elementary curriculum
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Summary: Montgomery County Public Schools could soon become a global brand. The school system will be paid $2.25 million to develop an elementary school curriculum that an education company will augment and sell around the world. The school system will also receive a small percentage of sales revenue once the curriculum is completed. The deal, rare in size and scope in the United States, was approved by the school board 6 to 2 Tuesday. Under the terms, Pearson, the world's largest education publisher, will acquire the expertise of one of the nation's top school systems and the right to use its name and its top employees as sales tools.
The Gazette: Editorial: Caps off to the Class of 2010
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Summary: Congratulations to the 10,495 Montgomery County students who are collecting their high school diplomas this year. They are entering the work force and the world of academia well prepared. The class of 2010 set a record for SAT performance and collected $220.8 million in college scholarships as of last week, according to the school system. Graduates scored an average of 1,651 out of a possible 2,400 on the SAT, a 36-point increase from 2009, according to preliminary statistics.
Washington Post: Montgomery schools track graduates' rate of college degrees
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Summary: Montgomery public schools, one of the few systems in the country that tracks its students all the way through college graduation, released a report Monday that details how many of its students went on to receive bachelor's degrees -- and how they got there. According to school system data, students who passed advanced math courses in middle school and high school and took at least one Advanced Placement test were much more likely to graduate from college.
Washington Post: Full-day preschool found to benefit boys, black students more
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Summary: Montgomery County boys as well as African Americans of both sexes benefit more from full-day pre-kindergarten programs, according to a study announced Monday by school officials. The study found that among African American students and boys in general, those who attended full-day pre-kindergarten classes outperformed their Head Start peers who had only half-day programs on reading benchmarks. But the results also applied more broadly.
WTTG Fox 5-Washington DC: Superintendent Dr. Jerry Weast interviewed on TV to discuss the impact of further budget cuts. Watch here: Windows Media , Real Media
Thursday, May 6, 2010
Summary: Superintendent Dr. Jerry Weast live on WTTG Fox 5 discussing further proposed cuts to the Montgomery County Public Schools operating budget. The conversation highlights the impact of possible staff reductions, furloughs, increased class size and class schedule changes.
The Baltimore Sun: Montgomery rightfully wary of ‘Race to the Top’ Op-ed by Superintendent Dr. Jerry D. Weast
Monday, April 19, 2010
Summary: Last week, the Maryland State Department of Education released a draft copy of the state's Race to the Top application, and we're pleased to see that Maryland is embracing college-and-career-ready standards, meaningful teacher evaluations and the strategic use of robust data.
Those are strategies that work. We know this because Montgomery County Public Schools have been implementing these strategies — and many more — for the past decade.
The Washington Post: Montgomery schools in running for urban education prize
Friday, April 2, 2010
Summary: The school system is among five finalists out of 100 eligible districts nationwide for the Broad Prize for Urban Education. The annual $2 million prize recognizes urban school districts "making the greatest progress in America in raising student achievement," according to the announcement.
The Washington Post: Judging high schools by students' college success
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Class Struggle—Jay Mathews
Summary: Montgomery County School Superintendent Jerry D. Weast loves numbers like most human beings love steak, and he shares what he loves. He dumps on me stacks of graphs and flow charts. They follow a familiar theme, the rise of student achievement in his district. But sometimes he surprises me.
The Washington Post: Montgomery proposes to add, expand schools
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Summary: Montgomery County would build two new schools and expand nine others in an effort to address overcrowded buildings under a $1.49 billion, six-year plan issued Wednesday by Superintendent Jerry D. Weast.
The Washington Post: Program Spurs 'Tweens to Consider Careers in Science
Monday, October 12, 2009
Summary: Montgomery County has hit on the formula for getting young people interested in science: Unleash 190 seventh-graders in a building full of robots, prosthetic limbs, microscopes, remote-controlled surgical arms and bacteria-filled flasks, and watch what happens.
The Washington Post: 14 Schools in Md., Va. and D.C. Earn Blue Ribbon Status
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Summary: U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan made the announcement at Highland Elementary School in Silver Spring, the only public school to win the award in Montgomery County this year, and a remarkable turnaround story that Duncan said he hoped would inspire similar success elsewhere.
The Gazette: Highland Receives Blue Ribbon Honor Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Summary: What was once a poor Wheaton elementary school faced with being taken over by the state is now a part of the most elite 4 percent in the country.
The Washington Post: Over 10 Years, Montgomery's Weast Aced Tough Tests
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Summary: The achievement gap that separates the haves and have-nots has been the most frustrating problem in public education for years. And across the country, few leaders have made more progress in closing that divide than Montgomery County's Jerry D. Weast.
Watch: A video interview that accompanied the online version of this story.
View: Charts from the online story
The Wall Street Journal: Data-Driven Schools See Rising Scores Friday, June 12, 2009
Summary: Montgomery County Public Schools is at the vanguard of what is known as the "data-driven" movement in U.S. The 139,000-student district, one of the nation's largest, says the strategy has helped it nearly close an achievement gap between white and minority students in the early grades. It also says the system has enabled it to identify minorities with academic gifts earlier, vaulting many more into demanding AP classes.
Ed Week: Diplomas Count 2009 Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Summary: A study released by Education Week today finds that the graduation rate in Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) ranks at the top among the nation’s 50 largest school districts, tied for first place with the Cypress-Fairbanks school district in Texas at 80.7 percent. MCPS is the 16th largest school district in the nation, while Cypress-Fairbanks ranks 35th in size.
WTTG Fox 5: Montgomery Co. #1 in Graduation Rate Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Summary: Among the 50 largest school districts in the nation, Montgomery County Public Schools has tied for first place in graduation rates.
WUSA Ch. 9: Top High Schools Ranking Based On Courses Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Summary: The principal at a local top high school says rankings should look at students' success rates in college as a real test of how a high school prepared the students.
Newsweek: America's Top High Schools
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Summary: Newsweek has released its annual list of “America’s Top High Schools,” and MCPS has four schools in the top 100 (Richard Montgomery, B-CC, Wootton and Churchill) and two that are just outside the top 100 (Whitman and Walter Johnson).
WTOP-Radio: 15 area high schools among best in U.S.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Summary: Montgomery County had six schools make the top 110 of the list. Richard Montgomery High School had the highest ranking school in the group, coming in 38th. Also making the list were Bethesda-Chevy Chase (55), Thomas S. Wootton High School in Rockville (58), Winston Churchill High in Potomac (94), Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda (104), and Walter Johnson High in Bethesda (109).
The Washington Post: Montgomery Co. Touts 'Seven Keys to College Readiness' as an Academic Pathway
Monday, May 18, 2009
Summary: Montgomery County Public Schools initiative the "Seven Keys to College Readiness." spells out in detail the courses and tests that officials say point toward college readiness and academic prosperity.
The Gazette: System to teach families about college readiness Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Summary: The school system has launched a plan to help parents and students understand what it takes to be ready for college. The plan, officially called the "Seven Keys to College Readiness," identifies seven milestones for families to monitor to ensure their children are ready for higher education.
The Washington Post: Science Magnet's Successes Monday, March 23, 2009
Summary: The 400-student Science, Mathematics and Computer Science Magnet at Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring is one of the nation's top math-science programs, a perennial rival to the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (650 students), Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Fairfax County (1,800 students) and Stuyvesant High School in New York (3,200 students).
Associated Press: Call of the Classroom: Teaching as a second careerTuesday, March 17, 2009
Summary: Increasing numbers of Americans are leaving their careers to become teachers. The story features teacher Peter Vos of Argyle MS, he is a neuroscientist who started his own internet company but found the school environment to his liking.
The Washington Post: ESOL Students in Md., Va. Leaping Ahead of U.S. PeersSaturday, February 28, 2009
Summary: The success of English learners in the region is partly a matter of where many of them live: Montgomery and Fairfax counties, achievement powerhouses that have trained their formidable resources on burgeoning populations of immigrant students. Montgomery has more than 17,000 such students.
The Washington Post: Md. Leads U.S. in Passing Rates on AP Exams
Thursday, February 5, 2009
Summary: For the first time, Maryland ranks top in the nation for the share of high school graduates who passed at least one Advanced Placement test. Paint Branch High School in Burtonsville also earned a distinction from the College Board yesterday: No other high school in the United States had as many black students pass the AP world history exam.
WRC TV NBC Channel 4: Maryland Proud Parent of Best AP Scores
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Summary: Students at Maryland schools have registered the best scores in the nation when it comes to the Advanced Placement program.
The Washington Post: Math Error To Cost Maryland $31 Million
Monday, January 12, 2009
Summary: As fiscal flubs go, this was a doozy. An error of simple addition in late 2007 threw off a government estimate of Montgomery County property wealth by $16 billion -- an amount equivalent to the gross domestic product of Jordan -- and spread, viruslike, through the budgets of at least 18 counties before it was corrected.
Eight months passed before the error was confirmed, last summer, by mid-level number crunchers in state government. Five more months went by before word reached Montgomery, victim of the miscalculation, just before Christmas.
WUSA TV 9: Maryland Schools Are Best In Nation
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Summary: The story highlighted the state’s number-one ranking by doing a feature story of the success of one school, visiting our recent Maryland Blue Ribbon school honoree, Highland Elementary School.
The Washington Post: Fuzzy Math in Maryland
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Summary: THE NUMBERS didn't add up. When Maryland distributed aid to school systems for the current fiscal year, Montgomery County received millions less than expected. Perplexed county leaders repeatedly questioned state officials, only to be told that everything was fine. In fact, the state had made an accounting error that caused it to short Montgomery schools.
The Washington Post: A School That Works By Working Together
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Summary: At Broad Acres eight years ago, test scores were so low that the state threatened to take the place over. Montgomery County Superintendent Jerry Weast and Principal Jody Leleck decided to remake the school. They negotiated with the teachers union to add extra hours to the workweek for extra pay. Teachers would offer no more excuses about poor kids from dysfunctional families; expectations would soar.
The Washington Post: State Short-Changed Montgomery Schools
Thursday, January 1, 2009
Summary: An accounting error in Maryland's budgeting process cost the Montgomery County school system $24 million in lost revenue in the current fiscal year, and some of the money was mistakenly distributed among the state's 23 other school systems, officials said yesterday.