Council Committees Meet on March 18

The Montgomery County Council’s Education Committee at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, March 18, will hold a worksession on an Office of Legislative Oversight Report reviewing the progress made by Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) toward closing the Achievement Gap. The committee also will receive an update on school enrollment demographics and will discuss boundary issues.

The Education Committee, which is chaired by Valerie Ervin and includes Councilmembers Phil Andrews and Craig Rice, will meet in the Third Floor Hearing Room of the Council Office Building, which is located at 100 Maryland Ave. in Rockville. The meeting will be televised live by County Cable Montgomery (CCM—Cable Channel 6 on Comcast and RCN, Channel 30 on Verizon) and can be viewed via streaming through the County web site at

The report on closing the Achievement Gap states MCPS has made progress in narrowing the achievement gap among grade level and at-risk measures of student performance. However, the gap is wide, and it has grown among above grade level measures that align with MCPS’ Seven Keys to College and Career Readiness initiative and the Common Core State Standards.

The report is an update on a study carried out in 2008 that examined the progress MCPS had made in closing the achievement gap by race, ethnicity and service group status—such as participation in special education. The report describes the magnitude of the achievement gap in areas where MCPS has since made progress and in areas that need improvement. The report also contains recommendations to assist the Council’s review of the school system’s efforts to narrow the achievement gap.

The update on MCPS enrollment will show that official enrollment for the 2012-13 school year is 148,779 students. That is 2,282 students more than the 2011-12 official enrollment and 239 fewer students than was projected for the 2012-13 at this time last year. This marks the fifth straight year of total enrollment increases. The update also states that students receiving Free and Reduced Price Meals (FARMs) have increased substantially over the past six years to more than 32 percent over the overall student population.

At 9:30 a.m. in the Seventh Floor Hearing Room, the Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy and Environment Committee, which is chaired by Roger Berliner and includes Councilmembers Nancy Floreen and Hans Riemer, will hold a worksession with representatives of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transportation Authority (WMATA, or better known as Metro) on future plans for area transportation needs.

At 2 p.m. in the Seventh Floor Hearing Room, the Planning, Housing and Economic Development Committee, which is chaired by Councilmember Floreen and includes Councilmembers Elrich and George Leventhal, will review the proposed Chevy Chase Lake Sector Plan. The community is basically located along Connecticut Avenue, just south of the Beltway.

At 2 p.m. in the Third Floor Conference Room, the Government Operations and Fiscal Policy Committee, which is chaired by Nancy Navarro and includes Councilmembers Ervin and Riemer, will hear a report from County Inspector General Edward Blansitt III that reviews commercial property tax assessments.

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