State not releasing spring standardized test results - Albuquerque Journal

State not releasing spring standardized test results

Copyright © 2021 Albuquerque Journal

The New Mexico Public Education Department isn’t releasing statewide spring standardized test results after only 10% of public school students participated in testing last school year, the agency announced Monday.

Citing low participation rates, inadequate access to broadband internet for students, and social and emotional impacts on students and teachers, department officials said it is impossible to make a valid interpretation of data from the spring testing.

Designed by the education nonprofit Cognia, the New Mexico Measures of Student Success and Achievement, or NM-MSSA, is designed to measure English and math proficiency for students in third through eighth grade. It was originally slated to be administered in the spring of 2020 as a replacement to the PARCC exam.

In the spring of 2020, testing was waived after March 13 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to PED.

The announcement of the lack of data comes on the heels of a legislative report finding that the pandemic caused New Mexico public school students to lose an equivalent of 10 to 60 days of instruction time.

Legislative analysts said this lost learning time could cause students to fall even further behind academically.

Reliable statewide data concerning academic losses or improvements will likely not be available until 2023 due to pandemic related testing issues and the state’s move away from the PARCC test to the NM-MSSA, said Alexis Alvarez, PED’s director of accountability.

Alvarez said metrics like growth require at least two points of time to be compared, which requires the test to be administered with high levels of participation at least twice – something that won’t happen until 2023 at the earliest.

Before the pandemic, the state was required to have a 95% participation rate in yearly standardized assessments in order to meet federal requirements. This spring the state fell far short of that threshold, but it received a 2021 federal waiver allowing it to opt out of the accountability portion that sets the 95% participation rate requirement for public school students.

This year, individual districts were allowed to decide whether to participate in testing. Most school districts, including Albuquerque Public Schools, Rio Rancho Public Schools and Las Cruces Public Schools, declined.

Alvarez said that data gathered from the schools that did participate in testing might not be representative of the entire state; affluent districts may be overrepresented.

The 95% participation rate required in normal years also served as a benchmark that allowed the state to accurately interpret data and make generalizations about the progress of subgroups of students like Native Americans, low income students and students with disabilities, according to Lynn Vasquez, PED director of assessments.

With the lack of data on student educational outcomes, PED is now urging school districts to administer some form of standardized testing this fall in order for districts to gauge where students are academically.

“Our message is really that it’s not so much about the assessment of the past year or two, it’s about the assessment right now,” NMPED Deputy Secretary Gwen Perea Warniment said. “Right now is a critical space to push forward and understand where students are.”

The PED is not requiring districts to participate, but it will be tracking which districts opt in, PED spokeswoman Judy Robinson said.

Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email

Nativo Sponsored Content

Ad Tango

taboola desktop


Half of city voters favor Keller's job performance
2021 city election
60% approval rating a year ago ... 60% approval rating a year ago likely due to pandemic response
Book merchant Jim Hoffsis was a pillar of Old ...
ABQnews Seeker
Korean War veteran was an admirer ... Korean War veteran was an admirer of military, supporter of local authors
Gonzales' current job approval stands at 34%
2021 city election
Democratic sheriff has little support from ... Democratic sheriff has little support from members of own party
NM film and television community honors Halyna Hutchins
ABQnews Seeker
New Mexico's film and television community ... New Mexico's film and television community came together to remember cinematographer Halyna Hutchins at a candlelight vigil at Civic Plaza in Albuquerque on Saturday ...
Journal Poll: Keller has large lead over mayoral opponents
2021 city election
Gonzales, Aragon lag behind; runoff may ... Gonzales, Aragon lag behind; runoff may not be needed
Hours before showtime, Las Cruces High's band truck is ...
ABQnews Seeker
The Las Cruces High School Showcase ... The Las Cruces High School Showcase band's trip to Albuquerque this weekend started on a sour note. Hours before the Zia Marching Band Fiesta ...
Don't forget: 10-digit phone dialing to be required in ...
ABQnews Seeker
Starting Sunday, phone users across New ... Starting Sunday, phone users across New Mexico must include area codes when dialing to make all calls, including local calls that previously only required ...
States mostly defer to union guidance for on-set gun ...
ABQnews Seeker
Safety standards developed by film studios ... Safety standards developed by film studios and labor unions are the primary protection for actors and film crews when a scene calls for using ...
Vigil to be held at Civic Plaza for cinematographer
ABQnews Seeker
The New Mexico community will come ... The New Mexico community will come together to remember filmmaker Halyna Hutchins. The 42-year-old director of photography was killed on the set of 'Rust' ...