New Mexico - Public Education Department

Assessments eligible to determine proficiency
  Can a student take an assessment NOT listed on the Assessment Checklist page?
The assessment must be recognized as valid by the PED's Bilingual Multicultural Education Bureau and Assessment and Accountability Division. Please contact the PED at 505-827-4270.
  Who determines what constitutes proficiency on the national assessments?
Please visit the website of each assessment to learn more about proficiency standards. Some website information can be found in the State of New Mexico Diploma of Excellence Bilingualism and Biliteracy Seal handbook's page of Abbreviations and Terms and their Definitions. The PED's Bilingual Multicultural Education Bureau may also provide guidance. They can be contacted at 505-827-4270.
  Can a student take the AP exam without taking the AP courses?
Yes, the AP program does not require students to take an AP course before taking an AP exam: (
Assessment cost
  If a student chooses to demonstrate proficiency using an assessment, whose responsibility is it to pay for the assessment?
Ultimately, it is up to the district/school to find ways to pay for the assessment or troubleshoot ways to fundraise with parents/guardians so that it is not a hardship on the student or family.
English proficiency demonstration and English graduation requirements
  How do students demonstrate proficiency in English?
The Bilingual Seal Statute is silent regarding this issue. It is assumed that, when a student meets the New Mexico High School Graduation requirements and receives a Diploma of Excellence, English proficiency has been demonstrated.
  What courses can ELs take to satisfy the graduation requirements in English?
1063 English Language Arts ELD—Grades 6–12. This course aligns with grade-level New Mexico Common Core State Standards for English language arts (ELA) and the current English Language Development (ELD) Standards. This course integrates grade-level ELA content and uses ELD standards and instructional strategies to appropriately scaffold for the English language development of English language learner (ELL) students. Teachers must have received specialized training in serving the needs of ELLs (a TESOL endorsement), in addition to secondary licensure for English language arts. Course 1063 may be substituted for 1001, 1002, 1003, and 1004 to receive high school graduation credit, where applicable, if 1063 also meets all course requirements for 1001, 1002, 1003, or 1004.
Tribal language certification process
  If a Tribe currently has a language certification process, do they need to establish a new one for the bilingualism-biliteracy seal?
Tribes may use an existing process to determine proficiency.
  How can a district or school be sure that the tribal language certification process is rigorous?
It is within the purview of the tribe to manage the language proficiency criteria, process, and procedure.
Non-graduates' seal eligibility
  If a student does not graduate in May of their senior year, are they still eligible for the seal?
Laws regarding the Seal, New Mexico State Statute (22-1-9.1, NMSA 1978) and New Mexico Administrative Code (NMAC 6.32.3), are silent regarding this issue; therefore, this decision is within the purview of the local school district and state charter.
  Aren't students who don't meet the graduation requirements by May of their senior year eligible to finish within 5 years?
Yes. This only applies to the Diploma of Excellence requirements, not the Seal requirements. If a student exits from the school system at the end of grade twelve without having satisfied the requirements, the student shall receive an appropriate state certificate indicating the number of credits earned and the grade completed. If within five years after a student exits from the school system the student satisfies the requirements, the student may receive a New Mexico diploma of excellence.
Number of sealed languages
  Can a student obtain the seal for more than one language other than English?
Yes, as long as the criteria is met for each individual, non-English language.
Portfolio scoring
  Will the PED ensure that the panel who scores the Alternative Process Portfolio is qualified?
The selection of the panel, composed of three or more members of the district's education staff and community, is within the purview of the local school district and state charter.
Requirements of obtaining the seal
  Can a student obtain the seal by successfully completing course work in one non-English language and then successfully pass an assessment in a different non-English language?
No. In order to obtain the seal, a student must successfully demonstrate proficiency in ONE language other than English in ONE of the four options. The student may choose to demonstrate proficiency in TWO languages other than English but must still meet all of the requirements of each option. What options do districts have if they cannot find local community members to participate on the interview panel of the Alternative Portfolio option? Districts may use any web-based platform available, such as Skype™, to connect students with panel members. Districts may also choose to connect students with a panel by using a phone conferencing platform.
  If a student enters high school with language credits obtained in middle school, do those credits count?
Middle school credits count toward obtaining a seal provided that the language course(s) was taught by a teacher certified to teach the language course with a license to teach high school courses, and the course must be aligned to the 9-12 standards. Additionally, the student must have earned a grade of 'C' or higher in the language course(s).
  Do transfer credits count towards the units-of-credit requirement?
Yes. From NMAC For students enrolling or re-enrolling in public schools, local school boards or governing bodies of charter schools will establish policies as follows.
(a) Credits shall be transferable with no loss of value between schools that are accredited by a state board of education in the United States, United States territories, Puerto Rico, the freely-associated states and outlying areas of the United States, department of defense schools or other authorized body.
(b) Policies of the local school board or the governing body of a charter school, for students transferring from home schools, private schools or foreign schools to the public schools, will be in accordance with Subsection D of Section 22-1-4 NMSA 1978.
(c) Acceptance of credits earned through correspondence extension study, foreign study, home study courses or non-department accredited, non-public schools is determined by the policy of the local school board or the governing body of a charter school.
  Is the bilingual seal available to students on an Individualized Education Program (IEP)?
Yes, and all the accommodations listed in a student's IEP, including assessment and classroom accommodations, are applicable as the student proceeds to meet the seal requirements.
  Do dual credit, honors, and distance learning courses count towards the seal?
Yes. Any language, language arts, or content area course that counts as high school credit and is taught in a language other than English, counts. A course that "counts" as high school credit is taught by a teacher licensed in the content area, licensed in the grade level, and aligned to the 9-12 standards.
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