August 4, 2004
New Mexico Public Education Department
300 Don Gaspar
Santa Fe, NM 87501-2786

Ruth Williams
Legislative Liason
(505) 827-7803

Education Secretary García to Release 11th-Grade Test Results,
High School Improvement Initiatives at August 6 Media Briefing

First Hour to Focus on Methodology for 2004 School Ratings

(Santa Fe, NM)--Secretary of Education Dr. Veronica C. García will announce the verified 2004 11th-grade criterion-referenced test (CRT) results and her initiatives for improving the state’s high schools at a media briefing on Friday, August 6. The briefing will be held from 10:00 a.m. to noon at the Public Education Department (PED), located at 300 Don Gaspar in Santa Fe.

“The CRT results are extremely important to schools and students. From these results, we make critical decisions that affect school communities. And they help us gauge our success at preparing students for future opportunities. We must guarantee that all involved – educators, parents and students – are aware of the importance of this test and the high stakes that await its outcome,” said Secretary Dr. García.

From 10:00 to 11:00 a.m., Dr. Don Watson, the PED’s assistant secretary for assessment and accountability, will meet with the media on how Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) will be used to determine school ratings for 2004. Charles Hayes, assistant secretary for rural education, and Geri Romero-Roybal, assistant secretary for quality assurance, will discuss plans for improving schools in 2004, including more in-depth diagnoses and amending the Educational Plans for Student Success (EPSS) to address corrective action, as necessary.

During the second hour, from 11:00 a.m. to noon, Secretary Dr. García will announce the 11th-grade CRT results and her initiatives for improving the state’s high schools, including ensuring test compliance.

The briefing is designed as a precursor to the release of the 2004 public school ratings. “This will be the first year for schools to be rated as making or not making AYP. This briefing will assist the state’s media in understanding how AYP will be used to improve education in New Mexico,” said Secretary Dr. García. AYP is the measurement required by the federal government to determine school improvement from one year to the next. To make AYP, a school or district must demonstrate that all or an increasing number of students have reached proficiency.