July 21, 2004
New Mexico Public Education Department
300 Don Gaspar
Santa Fe, NM 87501-2786

Charmaine Jackson-John
Public Information Officer
(505) 476-0393

Statement from Education Secretary Dr. Veronica C. García
Regarding Release of 2004 Testing Results

Santa Fe— Secretary of Education Dr. Veronica C. García said today that she is looking forward to releasing the state’s official results of the standards-based or criterion-referenced assessments (CRTs) in August 2004.

“As custodians of testing data, it is our responsibility to be accountable to students, residents and communities by releasing data that is accurate and has been through our normal data verification process, said Dr. García. “It is very important that the public is aware that the testing data released on July 20, by one school district, is unverified data and has not been analyzed for final results.”

The Department said today, that the standard data verification procedure in place is similar to every state in the country. The testing company sends the raw CRT data to the state and the 89 school districts. The unverified data is automatically embargoed because it’s in the early stages of review. The review includes an interactive collaboration between the state, school districts and testing company. For example, the PED checks demographic data for each individual student including school name, gender, special education, and grade levels. Once the Department has analyzed the data for accuracy, official reports will be released.

Based on the Department’s preliminary review, the new grade-11 CRT test is working as designed and will provide useful information to the state, districts, students and parents.

Dr. García concluded, “The testing results are also used to help teachers identify ways to build a stronger school curriculum that will meet the student’s educational needs. School districts will be using the CRT testing data to revise courses of study, and restructure school improvement plans. The main goal is to raise the state’s student achievement levels, regardless of their academic status.”