Tag: NMRising

#FamilyFriday- The Power of Parent Voice

#FamilyFriday- The Power of Parent Voice

#FamilyFriday is a weekly series of voices from the field of families and advocates from across the State of New Mexico. Each Friday, a new voice will be posted. If you would like to submit a blog post for consideration of publication, please submit it to Family.Liaison@state.nm.us. Enjoy and share!

The Power of Parent Voice

Misti Oracion

I am extremely privileged!  Every day I have the pleasure of helping parents and guardians advocate for their children.  I am a Family Liaison at Parents Reaching Out, the U.S. Department of Education’s-funded Parent Training Information Center for New Mexico.  I am also a member of the Secretary’s Family Advisory, and I had the incredible opportunity of being an inaugural member of the NMPED’s Family Cabinet.  I witness firsthand the power of family engagement and parent voice.  Incredible things happen when parents and schools come together as a team for student success.

Families often call Parents Reaching Out asking for an advocate.  We don’t have anyone with that job title.  Our titles are Liaisons because we know parents are the experts and the best advocates for their children.  We give them the tools they need to do it!

The most exciting part of my job and my experience with the Family Cabinet is watching a parent strongly advocate for their child, and then watching it ripple out to affect other children as well.  When a parent says to me, “I wish I could make it better, or change the system, but it’s not possible.”  I respectfully disagree.  I ask them to start by advocating for their child.  Change begins with gaining accurate knowledge, using your voice, supporting your child, and having high expectations.  When you start with your child, you can create change!

Last year, we supported a parent who had been requesting an evaluation for special education services for her child for over a year.  She used the tools we gave her and said to the district, “I don’t think you are following the law, and when I request an evaluation you need to honor the request or provide me with a copy of my parents’ rights.”  The child received the evaluation and services he needed, and then it rippled out.  The district was required to re-write their policy on the SAT [(Student Assistance Team)] process.  They now honor a parent’s request for an evaluation and allow it to happen at the same time as the SAT process, or they provide parents with procedural safeguards, explaining parents’ rights to due process.

In another district, a parent realized her child, who received special education services, was getting less instructional time than general education students.  This loss of instructional [time] was because the school was bussing special education students in late and [out] early.  This parent reached into her toolbox and asked for compensatory time for the instructional minutes her child should have received.  A memo went out to the whole district with directions that ALL children should receive the same amount of instructional minutes, and the practice of bussing in students early or late stopped.

Another parent used her voice and asked that her son’s school purchase a reading program for him because he was not making adequate progress towards reading at grade level.  The school bought a curriculum, and now every other child not reading at grade level benefits as well.

There are procedures put into place so that parents can work as a team with the school or respectfully disagree with a school as they advocate for their child.  A parent’s voice is powerful!  We need to advocate for our children because ALL of our children deserve the best.  Parent voices will bring powerful change!

If you need help in advocating for your child please reach out!  You can reach out to your PTA/PTO, Parents Reaching Out, EPICS, and the NM PED Family Engagement Coordinator.  We are privileged to be in a state where we have a Public Education Department who is doing more than giving lip service to Family Engagement and will help provide you with the correct knowledge you need to advocate for your child and all of New Mexico’s children.

Let’s use our voices and help New Mexico’s children rise!

New Mexico Continues to Rise – 2017 State Assessment Results Released

New Mexico Continues to Rise – 2017 State Assessment Results Released

In case you missed it, 2017 New Mexico state assessment results were released last week. Check out these key highlights of our statewide data.

New Mexico’s students are on the rise across most of the state’s BIGGEST districts.

New Mexico’s ten largest districts serve more than half of the state’s student population. Almost all of these districts now have many more kids reading and doing math on grade-level since the new baseline was established via the first administration of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) in 2015.

  • Large NM Districts with some of the strongest gains:
    • Farmington
      • ELA proficiency is up 11.5%
      • Math proficiency is up 5.8%
    • Gadsden
      • ELA proficiency is up 10.7%
      • Math proficiency is up 6.9%
    • Gallup
      • ELA proficiency is up 5.6%
      • Math proficiency is up 3.7%
    •  Hobbs
      • ELA proficiency is up 9.2%
      • Math proficiency is up 5.1%

In New Mexico, school improvement is a CHOICE. Schools embracing change are showing results for kids.

When our districts and schools demonstrate belief in every student’s potential and embrace partnerships and best practices, they see results for our kids. Principals Pursuing Excellence (PPE) & Teachers Pursuing Excellence (TPE) are prime examples of targeted investments and collaboration that are changing kids’ lives.

  •  In 124 PPE schools (four cohorts) serving more than 28,000 tested students, academic achievement is on the rise from 2015 to 2017:
    •  ELA proficiency is up 7.2%
    •  Math proficiency is up 4%
  • PPE schools (Cohorts 1-4) are closing achievement gaps when compared to non-PPE schools: In Math a 4% point gap is now a 2% point gap. In ELA a 7% point gap is now a 1% point gap.

The eight TPE schools (within Belen, Penasco, Farmington, & Alamogordo) have embraced another statewide initiative and have shown impressive results from 2015 to 2017:

  • ELA proficiency is up 10.3% in TPE schools
  • Math proficiency is up 10.6% in TPE schools

New Mexico established higher expectations for our kids in 2015 (new baseline year) that were college-and-career ready aligned—and our students are RISING to the challenge.

Nearly 15,000 more students are reading and doing math on grade-level since 2015. That’s 15,000 more families who can trust that their children are on-track for college and career readiness. New Mexico’s students are up in nearly every category since PARCC began, showing that New Mexico’s students, teachers, schools, and communities are rising to the challenge of what it takes to compete in the 21st century economy.

  •  8,000 more students are on grade level (up 2.2 %) in ELA (Reading) since 2015:
    • 3rd grade: up 1.2%
    • 4th grade: up 1.5%
    •  5th grade: up 5.4%
    • 8th grade: up 5.1%
  • 7,000 more students on grade level (up 2.3 %) in Mathematics since 2015:
    • 3rd grade: up 4.9%
    • 4th grade: up 4.6%
    • 5th grade: up 2.7%
    • 8th grade: up 3.3 %

Many of news and media outlets reported on our results this year including the Albuquerque Journal, The Farmington Daily Times, and the Roswell Daily Record.

All student assessment data is available on the PED website. We look forward to working with you over the next year to equip, empower and champion you so that in turn, we can equip, empower and champion our students and their success!