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PED releases statewide school testing results

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Nearly 33% of students in the state are proficient in English, and 20.3% of students are proficient in math, according to standardized test data released Friday by the Public Education Department.

On Friday, the state Public Education Department released math and reading assessment results. Nearly 33% students in the state are proficient in English and 20.3% of students are proficient in math. (Courtesy PED)

For the first time, New Mexico’s students took the New Mexico Standards Based Transition Assessment of Mathematics and English Language Arts this spring.

Given that the transition test focuses on the common core – and some of its testing bank questions are used by PARCC – this year’s results are comparable to previous scores, said Timothy Hand, deputy secretary for policy, strategy and accountability.

Last year when students were taking the PARCC, 21.6% of students statewide were proficient in math and 31.1% were proficient in English.

“The spring 2019 Transition Assessment of Math and English Language Arts decreased time spent on testing for students by 30 percent while maintaining comparable results to last year’s assessment,” a PED news release said.

In Albuquerque Public Schools, the 2019 PED data showed about 20% of students were proficient in math and 30% proficient in English.

Math scores in the district fell slightly compared with last year’s PARCC scores of 21.3%, and English scores were close to last year’s 30.4%.

APS could not be reached for comment.

In Rio Rancho Public Schools, 32% of students were proficient in math and 43% were proficient in English, PED numbers showed.

English scores in the district increased nearly 3 percentages from last year’s PARCC results, and math scores rose slightly from 31.4%.

RRPS spokeswoman Beth Pendergrass said the district is reviewing the data and focusing on areas that need improvement.

“A couple of those areas are ensuring every classroom has a highly qualified teacher and that class sizes are reasonable. We are moving quickly to address our priorities,” she said in an emailed statement, adding the district has hired over 40 additional teachers.

In some of the other largest districts in the state, scores were above the statewide averages.

In Farmington Municipal Schools, 24% were proficient in math and 42% in English.

Gadsden Independent School District’s students were at 23% and 37% respectively.

Other districts’ scores were below the statewide results.

• Gallup McKinley County Schools’ students were about 16% proficient in math and 30% in English.

• In Hobbs Municipal Schools, roughly 16% were proficient in math and 32% in English.

• In Las Cruces Public Schools, about 17% of students were proficient in math. Its English proficiency of 33% was on par with the statewide score of nearly 33%.

This year’s test served as the interim exam for the state after an executive order from Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham that ended PARCC testing.

That test, which the state used under former Gov. Susana Martinez, was controversial, with teachers unions and some schools questioning its measures and the ways results were used in determining how students graduate, teachers were evaluated and schools were graded.

The state is looking for a system that will serve as an official replacement.

PED officials put out a request for proposals for a new exam that encapsulates feedback from their tour seeking input this year.

According to Gwen Perea Warniment, the deputy secretary for teaching, learning and assessment, the request for proposals closed July 15 and the proposals are being reviewed.

According to the news release, the PED and a team of community members, including teachers and parents, will give the Governor’s Office a full assessment plan this fall.

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