New Mexico - Public Education Department

Every Student Succeeds Act
Update – March 2017

Dear New Mexico Community,

As you know, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) became federal law in December 2015, giving states more flexibility to best meet the needs of their students. The law affirms much of the progress New Mexico has achieved over the last several years. Together, we've raised the bar and held our students to high standards, utilized high-quality assessments to measure their progress, provided transparent information on every school's performance, and turned around many of our traditionally low-performing schools. Under Governor Martinez's leadership, New Mexico has implemented a kids-first agenda while recognizing that our classroom teachers are the most important factor in our students' outcomes.

Throughout 2016, the New Mexico Public Education Department (PED) listened to the field on how the state's approach could be improved upon. In the fall of 2016, the PED worked with the non-partisan public policy organization New Mexico First to launch one of the largest education listening tours in New Mexico's history: New Mexico Rising. We engaged our communities in a conversation about what is working in our schools and what could be improved. Reports from each of the community visits can be found online at

We are grateful to the over 1,800 teachers, parents, and community leaders who gave of their time to provide insightful and constructive feedback. Based on your feedback, we made an announcement earlier this year as an initial response to what we heard. We pledged to advocate for adjustments to NMTEACH, to continue investing in teacher-leadership opportunities, and to further reduce testing time. Today, we are announcing forty places where the PED is being responsive to what we heard throughout 2016, with more to come in the days ahead.
As a result of the New Mexico Rising tour, I am proud to announce the publication of New Mexico's state plan, which is up for public review and comment at The public review and comment period concludes on April 1, 2017. We invite you to share more of your thoughts and ideas, which we will read and consider on a rolling basis.

Building on the progress New Mexico's students are making and in alignment with Governor Martinez's "Route to 66" commitment, the state plan outlines ambitious K-12 student achievement goals: By 2020, New Mexico will be the fastest growing state in the nation when it comes to K-12 student outcomes. To get there, it is our goal that more than 50 percent of students are on grade-level in reading and math, more than 80 percent of students are graduating high school, and more than 75 percent of New Mexico high school graduates are enrolling in a higher education institution and do not require remediation.

Together, we can achieve these goals on behalf of our students. We are committed to continuously improving our education system so that every student in New Mexico has an opportunity to succeed. Thank you for your ongoing partnership.

-Secretary Skandera

  Office of the Governor of New Mexico Sunshine Portal US Department of Education Teach NM Score
Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Facebook