PRESS RELEASE - April 8, 2004
New Mexico Public Education Department
300 Don Gaspar
Santa Fe, NM 87501-2786

Ruth Williams
Public Outreach Director
(505) 476-0393

Secretary Garcia to Announce New Criterion-Referenced Test Findings at April 15 Media Briefing in Santa Fe

(Santa Fe, NM)-- Secretary of Education Dr. Veronica C. Garcia will hold her first media briefing on Thursday, April 15, at 11:15 a.m. to announce new test findings from the first administration of the Standards-Based (criterion-referenced) assessment in grades four and eight. The briefing will be held at the Jerry Apodaca Education Building, in Mabry Hall, located at 300 Don Gaspar in Santa Fe. Joining her will be New Mexico Lieutenant Governor Diane D. Denish, Dr. Kurt Steinhaus, deputy secretary for Learning and Accountability, and Dr. Don E. Watson, assistant secretary for Assessment and Accountability.

“The findings from this first administration of the criterion-referenced test are extremely significant to New Mexico. The results provide the starting point for our journey to bring students to 100% proficiency in math and language arts,” said Secretary Dr. García.

Both statewide and district-level results from the criterion-referenced assessment will be announced. The test, administered in the spring of 2003, assessed student performance in mathematics and language arts. She will also announce the statewide student proficiency expectations for 2004-2005. (The federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 requires that all public school students reach 100% proficiency in mathematics and language arts by school year 2013-2014.)

Sample items from the test will also be provided to the media.

“With Thursday’s announcement, we will have reached milestone #1 – identifying the starting points to bring students to 100% proficiency. Milestone #2 comes when we announce school ratings in August,” said Secretary Dr. García.