The New Mexico Public Education Department has unveiled its federally required plan outlining how the state will educate its elementary and secondary school students for years to come. It builds on past successes; fine tunes some requirements; addresses 50 concerns that came directly from New Mexico parents, teachers and communities; and calls for two years of consistency and stability for students, teachers and administrators before implementing changes.
In short, it capitalizes on the state’s nascent positive momentum and fuels it with input from some of the people who have already made our K-12 public education system better.
And while the overall student proficiency numbers are dismal, they are better. Though they lag the nation, graduation rates are up to 70 percent, PARCC math results are up 14.4 percent, PARCC English results are up 4.9 percent, school grades are up with more “A” and “B” schools, Advanced Placement testing is up with the state ranked second in the nation for growth in test-taking and teacher evaluations are up with 30 percent more teachers rated highly effective and exemplary.
There is no question we remain at the bottom of most education stats nationally, but progress must start somewhere.