This scorecard tracks the county-level results and indicators for Queen Anne's County.
There have been improvements over the past five years in school readiness scores due to an intense effort by the school system and community partners such as the Judy Center Partnership to develop and implement a comprehensive early childhood effort. While the data has been improving, there still remains a gap between the rates of the entire population as compared to minorities and low income students. Academic gaps between low income minorities and middle income white students have occurred for decades.
It has become more difficult (at least in the short term) to monitor continued progress in this area due to the fact that the State recently changed measuring tools and the two measures can’t be compared with each other. For that reason charts from both the MMSR and the KRA are posted above. When comparing the overall Queen Anne’s County KRA results for “Demonstrating Readiness” with the State averages Queen Anne’s County fairs better. However, a deeper look at the breakdown by ethnicity shows some concerning data. Not only did all of the Queen Anne’s County ethnic subgroups perform worse (on average) than the composite but the Queen Anne’s County subgroups of African American and Asian were worse when compared to the State averages (African American 43% & Asian 14%) for those same two categories.Some research suggests that both in-school factors and home/community factors impact the academic achievement of students and contribute to the gap. American education researcher David Berliner indicated that home/community influences are weighted more heavily, in part, due to the increased time that students spend at home and in their communities compared to the amount of time spent in school, and that the out-of-school factors influencing children in poverty differ significantly from those typically affecting middle income children. The LMB will work closely with the School System, the QAC Early Childhood Council, the Judy Center Partnerships organizations and others to close this gap.
A strong system of care for children ages prenatal through the start of their school experience not only shows an increased preparation and success in school but it also yields other positive results such as: stronger cognitive skills, lower school dropout rates, social and emotional strength, and lower rates of teen pregnancy and incarceration. In Queen Anne’s County it is especially important to reach and affect the subgroups. In most cases they have lower scores than the County average and without intervention at this level there will be negative repercussions as they move through the lifespan.
Queen Anne’s County public schools have implemented a variety of strategies to address poor subgroup performance, including specialized training, individualized learning plans, and co-teaching. Mentors, tutors, reading/math specialists, and the after school programming are current resources for students who need additional support. Challenges facing the public schools include funding reductions which have resulted in the loss of learning support specialists.
It has become more difficult (at least in the short term) to monitor continued progress in this area due to the fact that the State recently changed measuring tools and the two measures can’t be compared with each other. For that reason charts from both the MSA and the PARCC are posted above. Initially we have chosen to measure eighth grade performance for both English Language Arts/Literacy and Mathematics as our Headline Indicator for this result area. However, this could change next year as the LMB reviews all of the potential indicators.
Demographic factors which influence student achievement include the rise in the number of single parent households and high out-of-County commuter rates. Children often remain at home unsupervised after school until 6:00 p.m. or later.
Due to the change in the focus from MSA to CORE curriculum, the school system anticipated a drop in data for the percent of middle school students in Queen Anne’s County Passing the MSA in Math and Reading. Their prediction was correct. We are unable to draw conclusions from the data in the first year of the PARCC assessment yet.
The members of the Local Management Board continue to be strong advocates of the Character Counts! program believing that a community with strong character can achieve a lot. The Six Pillar Inventory was administered in the County for the sixth time (it’s administered in January of every odd year). The 2015 findings for the students aged 10 -15 years of age indicate that they had higher scores in 2015 than in 2013 for five pillars. On Trustworthy, the scores remained the same. They continued to have the most variable practice of qualities in Trustworthiness. For example 81% said that they always honored another's property, whereas only 31% said that they “tell the truth even when it may cost me.” The item that demonstrated the largest increase was doing volunteer community work. Overall among all age groups it was noted that the middle-income group scored higher than the no-income/low and high-income groups on all 6 pillars. This is another data item leaning towards a need for a continued high focus on sub-groups.In regards to bullying, three years ago the Board of Education partnered with the LMB and community leaders to establish the ABC Committee (Anti-Bullying Committee). Since its inception, this committee has been extremely active. During that time they have held annual Anti-Bullying Days, implemented the evidenced based Olweus Bullying Prevention Program system wide and signed on with Text2Stop program. This is a text messaging (SMS) program made available to all parents, students, and community members in Queen Anne’s County that allows anyone with a cell phone to leave tips and messages, through texting, that will alert someone to the fact that they are aware of bullying events, that someone has suicidal ideation, or is planning other dangerous behavior. It has been getting a lot of use. The data in chart above shows that bullying in Queen Anne’s County peaked around 2010 while State numbers continue to climb. Many on the ABC committee feel that these strategies and others have helped to turn this curve in Queen Anne’s County. However we still desire to decrease the numbers further.
School success impacts youth development, school completion, personal well-being and transition to the workforce.
The LMB seeks to work closely with DHCS and the COC to address housing shortages resulting from the lack of available and affordable housing particularly for the region’s marginalized populations. HUD’s annual count of homelessness in Maryland estimates that homelessness in Maryland has declined overall between 2010 and 2011. On the Mid-Shore of Maryland, homelessness rates by household counts are trending upwards. Reasons for this increase could include the increase in foreclosures, increase in rents that landlords charge because it is harder to own a home, the ongoing difficulty for people to find jobs and, possibly, high substance abuse rates. The LMB plans to address these concerns by implementing strategies like the Open Table Program, support DHCS as they build the Our Haven Homeless Shelter and by supporting other organizations on the Mid-Shore who are working to create families who are financially self-sufficient.From 2006 to 2011, child poverty rates in Queen Anne’s County trended upward at a rate that was close to that of the State of Maryland. However, the actual percentages in Queen Anne’s County were lower than the State at each data point. The latest data points from 2012, 2013 and 2014 show a decrease from 2011. We believe that the number will continue to trend downward. It is believed that the cause for the increase in child poverty in Queen Anne’s County is virtually the same as the causes for increased rates in Maryland and across the United States. Most of those reasons are related to the “Great Recession” and all that goes along with such an event. Many people lost jobs or were moved to jobs that paid less while expenses increased or stayed the same. According to the National Center for Children in Poverty at Columbia University, low wages and unstable employment leave families struggling to make ends meet. Research shows that poverty can impede children’s ability to learn and contribute to social, emotional, and behavioral problems. Poverty also can contribute to poor health and mental health. Risks are greatest for children who experience poverty when they are young and/or experience deep and persistent poverty. But effective public policies such as providing high-quality early care and learning experiences for children can make a difference. Investments in the most vulnerable children are also critical. The LMB supports these and other initiatives whole heartedly.
Citizen involvement in the community and knowledge of services promotes the health and development of children and families.