Published: 2:24 pm, Wed. Nov. 30th, 2016Updated: 2:23 pm
Only six of 89 school districts in New Mexico earned an A on performance evaluations by the state, but more districts saw improving grades than declining ones, according to a report released Tuesday by the Public Education Department.
Most grades given by the state to school districts have remained the same over the past two school years, the report states. The state agency said the number of A and B grades are up by 3.3 percent from the previous year, while D and F grades are down by 13.5 percent.
Albuquerque Public Schools, the state’s largest district with 90,000 students, received a D.
The Artesia Public Schools received a district grade of B. The Carlsbad, Loving, Lake Arthur and Hagerman Municipal Schools were graded a C and the Dexter Consolidated Schools a D.
New Mexico Public Education Secretary Hanna Skandera said she was encouraged by the grades, especially after more rigorous student tests were introduced.
“There’s always more work to do,” Skandera said. “Overall, we’re up. We’re making progress.”
The district grades are largely based on the average of its individual schools. However, other measurements include graduation rates, student achievement, school board member training and parent surveys.
During the 2014-15 school year, state officials starting giving student assessments developed by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers. The tests, administered by New Mexico and 10 other states, are designed to show how well schools helped students from grades 3 to 11 meet rigorous Common Core standards.
Grades for individual schools released in August showed that more New Mexico schools earned A or B grades during the previous year, but over a third received a D or F. Results showed a 7 percent jump in the number of schools getting an A or B. Around 38 percent of the state’s 849 public schools got the highest two grades, state officials said.
Meanwhile, 315 public schools received the lowest two grades.