Tag: Kahn Academy

The Year That Was: Our Students, Our Progress, Our Voices

The Year That Was: Our Students, Our Progress, Our Voices

The 2017-18 school year was one of many milestones, celebrations, and achievements for public education in New Mexico.  It has been a year of unprecedented progress—from the Schoolhouse to the Roundhouse and everywhere in between.  Just last month, the largest Teacher Summit in our state’s history occurred with hundreds of educators coming together to equip, empower, and champion our profession and the new era of teacher leader voice in the Land of Enchantment.  That event featured the culmination of three years of work leading to the unveiling of the state’s first ever Teacher Preparation Scorecards and a giant push to ensure that more of our aspiring teachers are day one ready.  In May, we saw a first-of-its-kind $1 million grant to all of our districts and charters for teacher recruitment, record amounts of funding and students served in both Pre-K and K-3+, and final school turnaround plans established for some of the state’s most struggling schools backed by $2 million in additional support for each individual school.

This spring, the NM-True Straight-A Express Tour, an idea that came from a regional school board meeting in Tucumcari about a year earlier, made its final stop in Des Moines.  As that statewide tour of 60 districts and 122 schools came to a close, the launch of the first ever NM-True Excellence in Teaching Tour kicked off with early stops in Farmington and Bloomfield, where I witnessed high craft in Mr. Starr’s AP Physics class fueling the feeling of urgency that more and more students need to have access to that level of high quality, rigorous course content, and instruction.

Turns out we are on that path already.  In January, Governor Martinez announced record high numbers of students taking and passing Advanced Placement courses and exams.  And more ground was broken in April when five New Mexico teacher-leaders from Las Cruces, Shiprock, Reserve, Albuquerque, and Texico delivered the keynote address at the annual Spring Budget Conference.  At that conference, there was even more good news to report as just one month earlier the Governor had signed HB-2 (“The Budget Bill”) which contained $115 million more for public education, bringing the total to $450 million more state dollars for public education during this administration.  That amount included funding for compensation increases across-the-board, and to support the bipartisan Senate Bill 119, increasing minimum teacher salaries at every licensure level.

There were other major milestones in 2017-18: Federal approval of New Mexico’s top-rated plan under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the adoption of best-in-class national standards (now effective as of July 1!) in both the arts and in science, less time on testing, and ten more instructional days added to the academic calendar, the expansion of the nation’s largest and highest-performing school turnaround networks (Principals Pursuing Excellence and Teachers Pursuing Excellence), the trailblazing work being done by the Social Studies Dream Team, and the state’s inaugural Family Cabinet.  The ‘year that was’ saw more students taking the free PSAT exam and setting up their free individualized Khan Academy accounts and the Public Education Commission continuing to strengthen the state’s charter sector through difficult decisions around school closures, school openings, and the first-ever charter school replication.  None of this progress has been easy—it’s all hard-fought.

And high honors were bestowed upon some of our state’s best teachers: The Milken Award to Melanie Alfaro of Deming in December and – in one of my proudest moments on the job- the selection of Ivonne Orozco of Public Academy for the Performing Arts (PAPA) as the 2018 New Mexico Teacher of the Year in October.  Without their leadership, and your leadership, we would not be where we are today.

Even with all of those highlights, perhaps nothing is more important than our recent announcement about our students’ academic progress over the past four years.  All credit goes to New Mexico’s teachers and support staff, parents and families, Superintendents and Charter Leaders, and many, many more for ushering in an era of exciting progress for kids in New Mexico.

Last week we announced that New Mexico’s students are demonstrating unprecedented academic progress in reading and math.  We have focused on improving our instructional practices and measuring progress, and more kids are truly on path to college and career.

Nearly a decade ago, the previous administration adopted higher college and career ready standards. Our districts, schools, educators, families, and students have risen to the challenge.  New Mexico now owns the unique distinction of having stayed the course, being independently-minded, and building upon our strong foundation and conviction about what every student can achieve.

Here are a few of the highlights:

  • New Mexico’s student achievement gains over the past several years are substantial—since 2015, the entire state is up 4.7 percentage points in reading and 4.2 percentage points in math.  Every grade level is up in reading, and almost every grade level is up in math.
  • This means something real for students and families.  Since 2015, 24,000 more students, 11,000 more in math and 13,000 more in reading, are at grade level or above. 9,000 of those students grew to that level just in the last academic year, which was New Mexico’s fourth year of administration of the PARCC assessment.
  • We are proving that our students from all backgrounds can grow and achieve at higher levels.  Native American students are showing the most academic progress statewide—up 8.2% in reading—with Hispanic students, students from low income backgrounds, and English Learners all showing major gains.  Overall, the achievement gap is narrowing, a testament to our collective commitment to equity and access for all students.
  • Many districts that have embraced change and seized new opportunities are showing the most dramatic student achievement gains. It’s no coincidence that districts such as Farmington, Gallup, Hobbs, and Gadsden are leading the way. They have embraced a data-driven culture, talent recruitment and development, and meaningful accountability and support.  Farmington, Gallup, and Hobbs were also early adopters of Principals Pursuing Excellence—one of the largest and most successful school turnaround networks in the country.  These are districts that put more money directly into the classroom and do not shy away from innovation or difficult conversations that need to be had.
  • Farmington is now the top-performing school district in reading amongst the state’s ten largest districts—up nearly 15 percentage points in reading since 2015.  Gadsden has shown the most growth in mathematics, up nearly nine percentage points since 2015.
  • Eighteen of the state’s 20 largest districts are up in reading. Over the last eight years, New Mexico made heavy investments and put a major focus on early literacy as the foundation for all student success.  Many students started their academic careers under more rigorous standards, participated in early literacy programs, and have grown over time.  There is promise for the future if New Mexico remains on this trajectory—if so there will continue to be new generations of rising readers.
  • Districts like Los Lunas, Central Consolidated, Lovington, Artesia, Texico, Clovis, and Roswell represent a second wave of districts following this same trend. They have embraced higher standards, individualized instruction through PSAT/Khan Academy, are investing more money directly into the classroom, and understand the power of regular formative and interim assessments at the local level.
  • And there is so much to learn from high-performing and fast-growing schools like Gil Sanchez Elementary in Belen, like Union Elementary in West Las Vegas, like Explore Academy and North Valley Academy in Albuquerque, like Mesquite Elementary in Gadsden. These are schools that have demonstrated double-digit gains through innovation and excellence in instruction.  There are dozens of other examples of schools that are “beating the odds”, myth-busting around what is possible for every child, and creating beacons of excellence from which we can draw inspiration and best practices.  Our student achievement results are on the rise because of schools like these…

It is clear; the student achievement data shows that New Mexico’s students are on the rise.  These examples across the state serve as a reminder of that.  We should be proud of the progress districts and charters across the state have shown—and celebrate them.

It’s also becoming more and more evident to all that we, as a community of educators, must keep momentum and a laser-focus on improving instructional practice:

https://www.abqjournal.com/1196483/student-gains-a-strong-reason-to-keep-parcc.html

It is an honor to work alongside all of you each day on behalf of our kids and an exciting moment to be working in public education in New Mexico.  Please stay tuned for more information on how we will continue to celebrate success and champion progress, while we also constantly look for ways in which we can better serve our students.  It’s BOTH/AND, almost never EITHER/OR if we want to ensure that New Mexico is the fastest growing state in the country by 2020 and beyond.

Meanwhile, we prepare for our students to arrive in just a few short weeks for 2018-19.

Congratulations.  Onward.

Secretary Ruszkowski

ICYMI: New Mexico Student Featured on NBC News

ICYMI: New Mexico Student Featured on NBC News

On the plains of Eastern New Mexico sits a small rural community with a population of 2200 people, a median income of $28,000 and a county that stretches 2,334 square miles (6,050 km2).  In this vast county sits a small school and in this school is a 17-year-old young lady, Jazmin.  Jazmin was born in Mexico and began to learn English when she moved to the United States. She has a dream of being the first in her family to attend and finish college but deep down considered it just a dream.

The pivotal moment oddly enough was when she took the PSAT/NMSQT in 10th grade. When she received her scores, she was very upset, she tested in the ‘red’ range ‘needing to build skills’ in both Reading/Language and Math. She saw her dream slipping away and was actually tearful.

Jazmin immediately went to the school counselor to ask what she could do and was told to get busy on Khan Academy.  Her scores were linked; she began working in earnest in August and by October her PSAT/NMSQT score improved by 101 points!  She was elated to see that she was firmly in ‘green’ in both subjects.  She took the SAT using a fee waiver in the Spring and scored 1100, another opportunity given to her that allowed her to continue her voyage towards her dream.

Jazmin promptly went to the counselor and said, “I feel as if my dream of college is getting closer and closer to reality. I can do better; I will be on a more rigorous practice schedule this summer with my goal being to raise my overall score by 150-200 points. I wouldn’t even have the confidence to set a high goal if it were not for the opportunity I have been given through Khan Academy. Additionally, I am so grateful that my math teacher learned to use Khan in the classroom to push us even further. For the first time in my school career I feel as if I really can do this!”  This time it was the counselor who became tearful.

-This narrative was submitted by the College Board 

This week, Jazmin was featured in an NBC News story, “Road to College: Student Shows Improving Standardized Test Scores Takes Practice, Not Money

Khan Academy Resources 

Did you know that the state pays for every high school sophomore to take the PSAT and are provided with a free linked Khan Academy account? You can access the resources that Jazmin utilized for FREE. Use the resources below to learn more.

If you have questions, or you’d like to learn more please contact:
Bobbi Eichhorst
State Initiatives Education Administrator
College and Career Readiness Bureau
Phone: (505) 827-6712
Email: Barbara.Eichhorst@state.nm.us

Growth Opportunities and Resources for Teachers

Growth Opportunities and Resources for Teachers

Take a look at these exciting opportunities and share with your colleagues. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Your Liaison,
Alicia Duran-505.467.9985
teacher.liaison@state.nm.us

Register for Advanced Placement Summer Institute:

Interested in establishing an Advanced Placement course at your school, becoming a new AP teacher, or refreshing your AP professional learning?  

Registration is open for the NM AP Summer Institutes in the following locations:

  • Las Cruces 6/9-6/12
  • Rio Rancho 6/13-6/16
  • Las Vegas 6/20-6/23

Please talk with your administrator about plans for local AP course offerings, developing local programs of study, and sign up here: http://www.apnewmexico.com/summer_institutes

Link PSAT & Khan Academy for added benefits!

Not only can PSAT and the related suite of assessments provide valuable feedback, vetted resources, and even identify courses for which students demonstrate Advanced Placement Potential, but if students link a College Board and a Khan Academy account, they now have access to free, personalized SAT study resources!

Linking extends the benefits of both accounts to an easily accessible customized learning resource that can even be used on student phones. Make sure your students are college and career ready (and reading academic text through the summer) by walking them through how to link their accounts today!

Check out this great article by Great Schools: Cracking the Code on College Admissions Tests

Here are a couple of resources for you to use to promote Khan Academy with your parents and students:

Introducing the NM Career Clusters Guide

The New Mexico Career Clusters Guide for students, parents, counselors, faculty, and career changers is designed to be a tool that targets the career pathways needed to meet educational and employment goals.

This guide will assist all students in identifying the available career options by using individual interests, clearly defined pathways, and timely employment projections.  Students using this guide will be able to make career decisions that meet the needs of New Mexico’s current and emerging economy.

Here are some resources to use in exploring the guide:

Microsoft Office 365 Training

Teacher Academy
Embrace your inner geek and check out how these Office 365 tools are being used by some of the world’s most innovative educators in their classrooms. See examples of how these educators are not only transforming teaching and learning, but growing learners from consumers of content to creators of knowledge. Prepare today’s learners for their futures by leveraging communication and collaboration tools that extend learning opportunities beyond the walls of the classroom. In this workshop, participants will practice real time collaboration in Office 365, anytime communication with Skype, explore the endless possibilities with OneNote, and publish interactive content and digital storytelling in a Sway.

Details: 

  • May 17, 2017
  • 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
  • Location: CES – 4216 Balloon Park RD NE, Albuquerque, NM 87109
  • Training Cost: Free

To Register, click here

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT ELENA SALAZAR, SITE COORDINATOR AT (505) 344-5470 EXT. 136