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PRESS RELEASE

October 31, 2002

Results Show New Mexico's Students Performing
Close to National Averages on TerraNova

(Albuquerque, NM)-The New Mexico State Department of Education (SDE) today released the statewide results of the spring 2002 administration of the TerraNova, Second Edition, Complete Battery CAT, administered to approximately 160,000 public school students in Grades 3 to 9. "The results are good! They show that New Mexico's students are performing close to the national averages in all content areas," said Dr. Mel Morgan, the SDE's assistant superintendent of accountability and information services.

The TerraNova, Second Edition, Complete Battery CAT, was administered to rank student achievement in New Mexico to students nationally in the content areas of reading/language arts, mathematics, science and social studies. As a result of action by the New Mexico State Board of Education (SBE) in August 2002, the results from the assessment were compared to the 1996 norming sample that was used previously in New Mexico.

New Mexico's median national percentiles for Grades 3 to 9 are close to the national average in all content areas. Reading is close to the national average in all grade levels, with mathematics at Grades 3, 4 and 6 also reflecting this trend. "Overall, the spring 2002 results show incremental gains over results reported for spring 2001," Dr. Morgan said.

"There are large differences in the median national percentile scores reported for ethnic groups," Dr. Morgan said. Scores for Caucasian and Asian/Pacific Islander students were substantially higher than the scores reported for all other ethnic groups. American Indian scores were lower than those for Hispanics and Blacks in all grades and content areas. In addition, special education students scored lower than non-special education students across all grades and English Language Learner (ELL) students had lower scores than their non-ELL counterparts.

"We are working with tribal and state leaders to seek the most effective strategies and use of resources to increase the academic achievement of American Indian students," Dr. Morgan said.

Regarding the accommodation disaggregations by grade and content area, scores were consistent across all accommodations within content area and grade. "The extent to which accommodations made the scores of students more valid or less valid cannot be ascertained from these data," Dr. Morgan said.

Results Show New Mexico's Students Performing Close to National Averages on TerraNova

The SDE also released the results of the New Mexico Writing Assessment Program and New Mexico High School Competency Examination.

The writing assessment is a direct, on-demand assessment given to students in Grades 5 and 7. For students in Grade 5, the overall mean for the holistic score was 3.68, while at Grade 7 the mean holistic score was 3.71. A six is the highest score possible.

Caucasian and Asian American students had the highest score results, followed by Hispanic and Black students. American Indian average performance was slightly behind that of Hispanic students. Special education students performed lower than non-special education students and ELL students performed lower than non-ELL students.

A release on the results of the high school competency examination is available on the SDE's web page, located at www.ped.state.nm.us, under "News Release Archive." The full report on the results of the TerraNova, writing assessment and high school competency examination is available by clicking here.


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