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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

PRESS RELEASE

February 13, 2003

Ten Schools Honored at 'Education on the Rise Day'
For Concrete Improvements in Student Performance

(Santa Fe, NM)- The New Mexico State Department of Education (SDE), State Board of Education and The Horace Mann Companies honored 10 schools at "Education on the Rise" Day today at the state Capitol. "We truly have something to be proud of - concrete improvements that have led to 10 schools lifting themselves up and out of the needs improvement stratum," said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Michael J. Davis.

The 10 schools recognized are Sunland Park Elementary, Gadsden; Roosevelt Elementary and Gallup Middle, Gallup; MacArthur Elementary, Las Cruces; Tomé Elementary, Los Lunas; César Chavez Elementary and R. M. Sweeney Elementary, Santa Fe; Rio Costilla Elementary, Questa; East Grand Plains Elementary, Roswell; and Zuni High, Zuni. All 10 were removed from school improvement in 2002 and are no longer rated as probationary.

"They have created flexible and innovative solutions to meet their individual needs and challenges. But most importantly, they have ensured that all students have an equal opportunity to succeed and pursue their dreams," said State Superintendent Davis.

SBE President John R. Lankford, of Roswell, presented each school with a "School on the Rise" plaque. Certificates were presented earlier from Speaker of the House Ben Lujan of Santa Fe.

"As you can see, the sky is not falling in public education in New Mexico. Although we are small in population, we are large in stature, particularly in our efforts to improve outcomes for children," said State Superintendent Davis.

A reception followed the news conference in the SDE's atrium, with refreshments prepared by the students from Pojoaque High in the Pojoaque Valley Public Schools.

Two of the ten schools - R. M. Sweeney Elementary and Tomé Elementary -- are profiled in the just-released SDE 2002 Annual Report, available on the SDE's web site at www.ped.state.nm.us .