State just shy of federal student testing participation requirement - Albuquerque Journal

State just shy of federal student testing participation requirement

Copyright © 2022 Albuquerque Journal

New Mexico was just shy of testing all the students it needed to last school year.

About 92% of test eligible students participated in state math and language arts assessments, according to data recently released by the state Public Education Department.

States are required to test 95% of their students by the federal Every Student Succeeds Act.

“PED and our Local Education Agencies are committed to continuing to improve participation rates for these standardized tests so that we have the fullest picture of how our students are performing,” department spokeswoman Martha Pincoffs said in an emailed statement.

States that don’t meet the requirement, Pincoffs said, may get a notice from the U.S. Department of Education. The PED will submit their participation rates to the federal department by Dec. 21.

The PED will send out letters to district superintendents and charter school leaders informing them that they didn’t meet the requirements, in an effort to increase participation, Pincoffs said.

The PED will also report the numbers of individual districts and schools, Pincoffs said.

In 2019, 94% of students participated in reading assessments and 92% participated in math. New Mexico used assessment and accountability waivers in 2020 and 2021, according to the PED.

High school juniors were the lowest-participating grade across the state, according to the data, seeing 83% participation in both math and language arts.

The main reasons some participation rates of some high schools faltered were that they were impacted by spring wildfires or because of chronic absenteeism, Pincoffs said.

According to assessment data released Sept. 1, 34% of third through eighth graders and 11th graders were proficient in language arts. Only a quarter were proficient in math.

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