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Education Assessment Numbers Show Students Still Struggling

The Legislative Education Study Committee meets Thursday in Hatch.
Kevin Meerschaert via Zoom
The Legislative Education Study Committee meets Thursday in Hatch.

Results of new, post-COVID statewide education assessments show about one-third of New Mexico grade school students are proficient in English language arts and science. One fourth are proficient in math.

After two years with no assessments students participated in three new statewide tests this spring.    
The report presented Thursday to the Legislative Education Study Committee says many factors outside of the classroom contribute to student achievement.

Students who are economically disadvantaged, English learners, and special education students are less likely to be proficient in all subjects. 

One recommendation presented to the committee is a stronger emphasis on accelerated learning for students who are behind. 

Jacqueline Costales is Interim Deputy Secretary of Teaching and Learning and Assessment for PED.

She says improvements can come with grade appropriate assignments, strong instruction, deep engagement and teachers with high expectations.      

“Greater access to those four resources actually support and improve student achievement and in particular the research shows for the students who started the school year behind,” she said. “So sometimes we think that remediation and acceleration are two sides of the same coin but they are actually a different approach.”

Lawmakers are saying it’s time to start taking a look at possibly some major changes to how New Mexico educates its children. Senate Pro-Tem Mimi Stewart noted how many European countries have teachers remain with a class of students throughout their elementary school years and that should at least be studied to see if it’s possible here.