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New Mexico State Department
of Education

300 Don Gaspar
Santa Fe, NM 87501-2786

Ruth Williams
Public Outreach Director
(505) 476-0393


February 3, 2003

SDE Submits Accountability Plan to Education Department

(Santa Fe, NM)-The New Mexico State Department of Education (SDE) on January 29 submitted its "Consolidated State Application Accountability Workbook" to the U.S. Department of Education outlining how it will comply with the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) and requirements for Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP).

"We are seeking approval from the U.S. Department of Education to continue the transition processes already underway regarding the requirements of the NCLB Act. If approved, the plan will allow us to continue rating schools and provide the necessary support for school improvement and corrective action schools," said Dr. Mel Morgan, assistant superintendent for Accountability and Information Services.

Under the plan, the SDE proposes to continue the current Accountability Program for two years. "This will allow New Mexico to design and implement criterion-referenced tests (CRTs) in grades four, eight and 11 and obtain baseline data for measuring adequate yearly progress as required under NCLB," said Dr. Morgan.

For 2003, the school ratings will be announced by August 1 and the SDE will disaggregate student achievement data per the following: Caucasian/Whites not of Hispanic origin, Blacks not of Hispanic origin, Hispanics, Asian/Pacific Islanders and American Indian/Alaskan natives, English Language Learners (ELL) and free and reduced-price lunch. Norm-referenced assessments (NRTs) will continue in grades three, five, six, seven and nine, with CRTs administered in grades four, eight and 11. A key change is that if a school lacks 95 percent participation, it will not be able to rate above "meets standards."

For 2004, NRTs will continue to be administered in grades three, five, six, seven and nine, with CRTs administered in grades four, eight and 11. But for the first time, AYP will be applied to grades four, eight and 11, with the old Accountability Program applied to the NRT test grades. And student achievement data will be disaggregated for both CRT and NRT test grades. A critical change in 2004 will be that one probationary data point will result in a probationary rating for a school.

By 2005, New Mexico will be fully implementing the NCLB requirements, with CRTs administered in grades three through nine and in grade 11.

"We expect 2004 to be a major transition year for us but we are strongly supportive of monitoring student progress to ensure that schools are making adequate yearly progress. Make no mistake, the federal requirements are stringent and we will see more schools in school improvement," he said.