If there’s a takeaway from the latest round of school grades, it’s that F stands for more than simply failing – it stands for failing your students and failing to get with a program that has proven to work elsewhere.
Because when not just one or two but 56 of New Mexico’s 89 public school districts have no F schools – from Alamogordo to Wagon Mound – there are patterns to be followed, and questions to be asked of the districts that now have more F schools than ever.
That includes Albuquerque Public Schools, where more than a third of the schools earned an F this year, up from 25 percent last year.
School grades are based primarily on student improvement (65 percent of the grade of elementary and middle schools, 40 percent of high schools) but also on student proficiency (25 percent this year). Apologists for low expectations, like National Education Association of New Mexico spokesman Charles Goodmacher, would have you believe that “the grades assigned to their local school are more of a reflection on a particular set of policy wonk ideas which reduce the many intangibles of education to a single letter score, than it is about what is actually happening in their schools.”