Policy & Assessment
NM Commits to Returning State Testing Results by May
- By Dian Schaffhauser
A new move by the New Mexico Public Education Department will give school districts in that state 15 more days to prepare for statewide exams and deliver student test scores before the end of the school year. The state gives the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) assessments in reading and math to students in grades 3 through 11.
The move follows feedback from the field, which requested faster turnaround of student achievement data. Now it will be delivered to schools by May, the same month testing is finished, to give educators a full summer to do planning for the following school year.
"We should always be looking for ways to continuously improve while building upon the strong foundation that we have built together," said Education Secretary Christopher Ruszkowski, in a statement. "Our teachers and families have asked for stability and continuity for our students, but they've also asked us to continue to listen and constantly find ways to improve and refine our approaches."
Additionally, the state agency has committed to "staying the course" with the PARCC assessment. By shortening the testing window, teachers will gain 15 more days of instruction in the new school year than they had two years ago. And the state has decided that individual student reports will go out to parents and families within 30 days of when the districts receive them.
According to the state, compared to test results from 2015, 11,000 more students are doing math on grade level, and 13,000 more students are reading on grade level, with Native American students improving their reading scores more than any other group of students, by 8.2 percentage points. New Mexico reported that it is also experiencing "record-high" school graduation rates and has doubled the number of students taking and passing Advanced Placement exams.
Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @schaffhauser.