PRESS RELEASE - March 31, 2004
PED Proposes Changes to Plan for Fulfilling NCLB Requirements for Accountability
(Santa Fe, NM)--The New Mexico Public Education Department (PED) is proposing a balanced approach for meeting the requirements of the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) in the area of student achievement. On March 31, the PED will submit proposed changes to the U.S. Department of Education to allow the state to institute a focused review of school performance.
The proposed changes are the result of collaboration with the Assessment and Accountability Council, an appointed council consisting of school district and higher education representatives knowledgeable in curriculum, assessment and accountability issues.
“School districts from across the state are on board with our proposal changes, which will benefit students in the long term and schools in the short term,” said Secretary of Education Dr. Veronica C. García. “In our changes, we are taking full advantage of the new guidance issued recently by the U.S. Department of Education.”
The PED will submit proposed changes to the New Mexico Consolidated State Application Workbook that will allow for the following:
· Implementation of the “safe harbor”
provisions of NCLB so that a school is protected if it is showing
appropriate growth with its lowest performing students. A school will
not be included on the list of those not making Adequate Yearly Progress
Regarding the new guidance from the U.S. Department of Education, the proposed changes reflect the following:
· Allowing for the state to exceed one percent
of its students taking alternate assessments on a case-by-case basis.
“NCLB requires that the state’s accountability
system be valid and reliable. These changes are a positive move in
that direction and will certainly affect our ability to ensure that
no child in New Mexico is left behind,” said Secretary Dr. García.