PRESS RELEASE - August 4, 2003
New Mexico State Department
of Education

300 Don Gaspar
Santa Fe, NM 87501-2786

Ruth Williams
Public Outreach Director
(505) 476-0393

SDE Announces 2003 Public School Ratings

(Santa Fe, NM)— The New Mexico State Department of Education (SDE) announced today that 78 percent of the state’s public schools that were rated are meeting or exceeding the state’s accountability standards. “This year’s ratings represent the largest percentage of schools to be rated since we began this process in 2000,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Michael J. Davis.

A total of 741 of the state’s 750 public schools were rated. Of the 741, 12 were rated as exemplary, 42 were rated as exceeds standards, 523 were rated as meets standards and 164 were rated as probationary. The 164 probationary schools include 82 that rated probationary for the first time and 43 new schools identified for corrective action.

Included were two schools that have rated as exemplary all four years. They are Los Alamos High in Los Alamos and El Dorado Elementary in Santa Fe. “They serve as models of best practices for schools throughout the state and nation,” said State Superintendent Davis.

“While our focus on accountability and standards did not start with the federal No Child Left Behind Act, with this year’s announcement we are beginning the three-year phase-in of federal requirements contained in the act. The information that has resulted in these ratings will provide the necessary direction needed to close the achievement gap and help ensure the success of all students.

“Education is on the rise in New Mexico and we will continue that course until every child reaches proficiency according to state and federal expectations,” he said.

State Superintendent Davis congratulated the 10 corrective action schools that met standards. (By 2004, all 14 corrective action schools must meet standards.) They are Lowell and Whittier Elementary in Albuquerque, Mesa Elementary in the Central Consolidated Schools, Cuba High in Cuba, Churchrock and David Skeet Elementary and John F. Kennedy and Thoreau Middle in Gallup, Laguna-Acoma Middle in the Grants-Cibola County Schools and Booker T. Washington Elementary in Las Cruces.

“I am confident that all 14 corrective action schools will meet standards next year. The State Board of Education, the Legislature and our governors have worked jointly to produce an accountability program that provides for high performance in our state’s public schools. It is raising the level of learning for all children in New Mexico.”

The 2003 public school ratings are posted on the SDE’s web site at www.ped.state.nm.us.