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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

January 22, 2003

SDE Names Director for Assessment and Evaluation

(Santa Fe, NM)- The New Mexico State Department of Education (SDE) announced today that Dr. Carolyn J. Henderson of Espanola has been promoted to director for the Assessment and Evaluation Unit. Dr. Henderson joined the SDE in 1997 and has served as assistant director in the Title I Office since 2000.

The Assessment and Evaluation Unit is responsible for developing, implementing and managing a variety of programs that assess and evaluate the performance of students and programs in schools throughout New Mexico, including the statewide high school competency examination, student achievement tests and writing and reading assessments. It also operates the state's General Education Development (GED) testing program.

"Dr. Henderson brings with her a wealth of experience that will prove invaluable as we strive to ensure that schools are making adequate yearly progress and children's academic performance is increasing. Since joining the SDE, she has participated in school district accreditation and served on work teams addressing school improvement, accountability, charter schools, literacy and assessment. We are extremely fortunate to have her leadership in the area of assessment and evaluation," said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Michael J. Davis.

"My number one concern and priority will be the fairness and equity of our statewide assessment program for English Language Learners. This is especially critical given that the No Child Left Behind Act requires that 95 percent of all students, including English Language Learners, participate in the assessment program," Dr. Henderson said.

From 1992-1997, Dr. Henderson was coordinator with the Espanola Public Schools, assigned to design, coordinate and manage all procedures and processes related to the special education program for three and four year olds with disabilities. From 1990 to 1992, she was an educational consultant in the Special Education Unit for the Idaho State Department of Education.

Dr. Henderson is a former assistant professor and chair of the Special Education Department at St. Martin's College in Olympia, Washington, director of the Grays Harbor Regional Student Teacher Program in Aberdeen, Washington, coordinator of staff development for the Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District in Palmer, Alaska, and outreach coordinator at the University of Alaska-Juneau. She is a former special education teacher in Fairbanks, Alaska, and Tucson, Arizona, and a former third grade teacher in Cartagena, Colombia, South America.