PRESS RELEASE - July 11, 2003
New Mexico State Department
of Education

300 Don Gaspar
Santa Fe, NM 87501-2786

Ruth Williams
Public Outreach Director
(505) 476-0393

SDE to Hold Media Briefing on New Ratings Methodology

(Santa Fe, NM)—The New Mexico State Department of Education (SDE) will hold a media briefing on Thursday, July 17, from 10:00 a.m. to noon at the SDE, Mabry Hall, located at 300 Don Gaspar in Santa Fe, on the methodology to be used to rate schools in 2003 and other changes. The briefing will be led by Dr. Melville Morgan, the SDE’s assistant superintendent for Accountability and Information Services.

The first hour will be devoted to changes for the 2003 ratings, with the second hour dedicated to media questions. The announcement of the 2003 public school ratings will be made on Wednesday, August 6, at the SDE.

“New Mexico will begin this year to transition to federal expectations for public school accountability. Our hope through the media briefing is to assist education reporters and others assigned to cover the ratings announcement in understanding the changes to be implemented this year, including expected outcomes as a result of the changes,” said Dr. Morgan.

The U.S. Department of Education announced in May 2003 its approval of the New Mexico Accountability Plan to comply with the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) and requirements for Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP).

For 2003-2004, 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), free and reduced-price lunch and students receiving special education services. Student achievement data will be combined across grade levels by subject.

Status and growth data points will be assigned. And graduation rates have been added for secondary schools. Further, if a school lacks 95% participation, it will not be able to rate above “meets standards.” All schools, including those with some configuration of grades K-2, will be rated.

For questions or to R.S.V.P. for the media briefing, please contact Ruth Williams, the SDE’s Public Outreach director, at 505-476-0393 or rwilliams@ped.state.nm.us.