July 1, 2005
New Mexico Public Education Department
300 Don Gaspar
Santa Fe, NM 87501-2786

Jennifer Chavez
Public Information Officer
(505) 476-0393

Secretary García Demands Better Accountability


(Santa Fe) - New Mexico’s Secretary of Public Education, Dr. Veronica C. Garc í a, unveiled results of a new system that will increase accountability for graduation rate reporting. The new system fast tracks an interim reporting procedure.

Beginning in fall of 2005, incoming tenth grade classes will be the subject of a graduation progress report, which will be released to the media and the public. For the first time, New Mexico’s individual student identifier can account statewide for the location of any student in a public school beginning with the 2004-05 school year.

“We need the most accurate possible picture of how many students are staying in school if we are going to truly hold schools accountable for improving,” said Dr. Garc í a. The new student identification system fixes a long-standing situation of not being able to follow our students throughout the state. However, because it will not fully track all our graduates until 2008, I have fast-tracked this interim reporting process.”

Beginning with the graduation progress report for incoming 2005-06 tenth graders, communities will be assured of accuracy in the reporting. This process looks at these former ninth graders and identifies students who left between ninth and tenth grades. The group will be followed throughout their high school years with their progression towards graduation reported annually.

“For the 2008 graduating class,” Dr. Garcia said, “New Mexico will have a graduation rate that is based on four years of accurately tracked student enrollment.”

Communities will be able to watch the graduation progress reporting and are encouraged to work with their schools in supporting the importance of staying in school.