Tag: PARCC

Every Student Deserves a High-Performing School

Every Student Deserves a High-Performing School

The Release of School Grades

School Grades were recently released to the public.

Our school accountability system has earned a lot of praise for being clear and understandable for families—and this year our reports are even more family friendly following our yearlong ESSA tour. Check out the great coverage all over the state in the ABQ Journal, the Associated Press, KOAT, KOB, KRQE, the Deming Headlight, the Carlsbad Current Argus, the Farmington Daily News, and the Alamogordo Daily News.  The story on Gil Sanchez Elementary might be my favorite yet as we seek to identify and scale best practices across the state.

Background on School Grading

School Grading is part of state and federal statute that mandates accountability for all public schools.

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), originally enacted in 1965, requires schools to show annual improvement in mathematics and reading. In 2011, New Mexico lawmakers enacted additional requirements that schools demonstrate progress through a grading system similar to that applied to students, A-B-C-D-F.

School Grades provide a consistent measure (now over six years) for all public schools across the state so that we can see which schools are doing well and which schools are struggling and need support.

Working for Success

Schools that embrace change, get results. School improvement is a CHOICE. Our districts and schools that continue to embrace change and new opportunities for kids are continuing to see success.

Our 15 largest districts are serving more than 60% of students in the state. The following large districts are examples of those that have embraced change over the years and are now showing strong improvements – not only increasing the number of “A” schools within their districts – but also by drastically reducing the amount of “F” schools within their districts:

  • Farmington has eliminated “F” schools and increased the amount of “A” schools

o   In 2012, 6% of its schools were “F” schools, today the district has 0 “F” schools

o   In 2012, Farmington had no “A” schools, today 37% of its schools are “A” schools

  • Gadsden has eliminated “F” schools and increased the amount of “A” schools

o   In 2012, 9% of its schools were “F” schools, today the district has 0 “F” schools

o   The district has grown the number of “A” schools by 4%

  • Alamogordo has eliminated “F” schools.

o   In 2012, 13% of its schools were “F” schools, today the district has 0 “F” schools

o   The district has grown the number of “A” schools by 14%

Our Students Deserve Better

Our most struggling students deserve better. Many of NM’s schools are not doing a good job serving their lowest performing students that are well below grade level in math and reading.

Here’s what we can do, together, about the growing divide of schools on the rise and those that are not making progress or are sliding backwards:

  1. When schools are struggling, they can choose to improve.  Over the past five years, New Mexico has invested significant resources and developed proven programs and that are getting results for kids.  Principals Pursuing Excellence (PPE) and Teacher Pursuing Excellence (TPE) are two examples of those—school turnaround programs available for struggling schools that are ready to change and grow.
  2. Under NM’s top-rated State ESSA Plan, districts are required to take action when a school persistently earns “F’s” 4, 5 or 6 years in a row.  Several of New Mexico’s schools will be under the umbrella of the “More Rigorous Interventions” category—which requires district’s to choose a different path forward.
  3. When our kids are trapped in persistently failing schools, they have options under state law.  Students enrolled in schools that have earned two “F” grades in the last four years have the right to attend a different school.
  4. When charter schools are persistently “D” and “F”, the NM PED has a moral and educational responsibility to recommend to the Public Education Commission (PEC) that their charter be considered for revocation.

What You Can Do

The release of school grades can be an exciting time for some, but we also recognize it can be a sobering time for others.

If your school received a lower grade, put yourself in the shoes of a student who received a similar grade. What would you say to them? How would you encourage them? What immediate actions would you ask them to take? Give yourself (and any colleagues that need it) the same advice.

Once you’ve processed, here are easy and quick ways to start leaning in as a teacher, to lead toward improvement:

  1. Next time you see your principal, let them know you are ready and willing to help. Ask them what you can do to help improve!
  2. Dive into the full School Grade Report, not just the first page. Identify ONE thing to celebrate and ONE area for improvement.
  3. BE A GREAT TEACHER. Dive into your student level data, identify what your kiddos need and deliver. Your students can have a positive impact on the whole school’s grade.
  4. Last, but not least. Remember, we at the NM PED are here to help! We can provide a pick me up, encouragement or expert help! Just ask!

Hear It From Teachers

Check out what teachers around NM have to say about their school’s grade.

My school went from a D to a C….. we know we are moving up to a B next year!  We are positive! We are working harder than ever….. although our amazing principal did say in today’s meeting…. “It’s not about our grade, it’s about making sure we are preparing these students!”  So, in reality, our prayer and hope to move to a B, is just our journey and knowing we are doing everything we can to get these kiddos moving in the right direction!  Work hard…. 3 year old program- to our 6th grade programs. Just work hard!  Hurley Elementary School, Cobre Consolidated Schools

Deming Intermediate went from an F to being less than 2 points away from a C.  So proud of my school!!! Deming Intermediate School, Deming Public Schools

We went up, in both our elementary and middle school, from a D to a B!!!!!  Pretty dang proud of our students and staff! Eagle Nest Elementary and Middle School, Cimarron Public Schools

My school went from a D to a C. We as a school are prepared to work even harder to move up to a B or even an A. Colinas del Norte Elementary School, Rio Rancho Public Schools

Our little school went back up to an A as well. The staff is excited and so are the kids! Reserve High School, Reserve Public Schools

Our school moved up from a D to a C, missing a B by 5 points. We are determined to get that B or A next year. We are the largest school in SFPS with the highest ELL and Special Learning population in the district! We are so proud of our students and teachers! Capital High School, Santa Fe Public Schools

Going the Distance

Going the Distance

When my nine-year-old son recently ran his first cross-country race, he joined a long line of long-distance runners. My entire family is obsessed with running—from my sister, who coaches a high school cross-country team, to my niece, who is a state champion long-distance runner. I’ve run my fair share of 5Ks and even trained for and completed a half-marathon! I guess you could say running just runs in our family.

My family also is full of teachers. My mother is a teacher, my sister and I used to teach in neighboring classrooms at Volcano Vista High School, and my son just finished the third-grade with my cousin as his teacher. We even have a few college instructors among us!

In a way, it isn’t surprising that our family is passionate for both long-distance running and education. Jogging thirteen miles and teaching a classroom of kids are similarly exhausting—but rewarding—activities. Both often involve waking up way too early in the morning. Both require a huge time commitment and determination in the face of discouragement. And both revolve around aiming high and working toward a distant goal: either making it to the finish line or helping students graduate from high school ready to succeed in college and beyond.

But while a half-marathon has always been 13.1 miles, the definition of success for our students today is markedly different than it was when I was in school years ago. To be a smart citizen, consumer, and competitive in the workforce in 2017, you have to be able to think critically, understand other perspectives, and clearly explain your own ideas. The bar is higher now, and the race to reach it is more fast-paced and competitive than ever. As a teacher, I know we need to help students today be prepared for that race by challenging them to meet higher academic standards.

Higher expectations for students translate into different expectations for teachers, too. This notion fuels my work with the Secretary’s Teacher Advisory, a committee of teachers from around the state who have the ear of Acting Secretary of Education Christopher Ruszkowski on topics like school grades, standardized testing, and NMTEACH summative reports. There is no question that this is hard work and we certainly don’t agree on everything. As a group of dedicated teachers, we are focused on equipping and empowering teachers in order to, in turn, do the same for our students. We believe that when teachers reflect on how they teach and shift their practice to better support their students in meeting the standards, students will be more likely to succeed.

And the good news this is exactly what’s happening: New Mexico students are making gains and increasingly meeting the higher expectations that we’ve set for them with the New Mexico Common Core State Standards.

Despite this fantastic progress, we still have a long way to go. Only 19.7 percent of New Mexico students are proficient in math, and about 28.6 percent are proficient in reading. If we want more of our students to reach the finish line of graduating high school ready for college and careers, then we need to stay the course with our high standards and aligned assessments. We also need to ensure that teachers get feedback and support to help their students meet the standards. We’re on the right track here in New Mexico, and with some perseverance and renewed energy, we can truly help our young people go the distance.

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!

Top 10 Highlights of the NM Teacher Summit

Top 10 Highlights of the NM Teacher Summit

In case you missed it, June 26th and 27th marked our Second Annual NM Teacher Summit. The event was huge success with 1,000 teachers from all over the state coming together to celebrate one another and continue to grow in their craft and career.

Check out the 10 Ten things about the 2nd Annual Teacher Summit:

  1. 1,000 attendees

    This year, the summit grew to 3x the size of last year. It was a true joy to see 1,000 teachers gathered full of positivity and excitement! Two years ago, the Secretary’s Teacher Advisory said they wanted a summer conference, we would never have dreamed that just two years later we’d be standing on stage looking at a crowd of 1,000 teachers!

  2. Improved Communication

    In my role, I often hear from teachers that they feel “out of the loop”. I had many conversations over two days in which teachers said they finally feel like they know what is going on and feel included in the path ahead!

  3. Acting Secretary Ruszkowski’s first keynote address

    It was great to see Acting Secretary Ruszkowski deliver his first ever keynote address as Acting Secretary during the Summit’s opening session and to learn more about his personal story and passion for education. Later, he spent time in small group sessions with teachers answering tough questions with finesse and commitment. Teachers really enjoyed meeting one on one.

  4. New Teacher Leader Opportunities

    We shared so many opportunities for teachers to be change agents for education in New Mexico at the Summit. Teach Plus shared their application for the 2nd cohort of the New Mexico Teach Plus Fellowship. The New Mexico Literacy Dream Team shared the 36 close reading lesson plans and announced the launch of the 2nd New Mexico Dream Team which will focus on Social Studies. Stay tuned for the application. We also announced the expansion of the New Mexico Teacher Leader Network and the 2nd Cohort of the Secretary’s Teacher Advisory. The 2nd Cohort of the STA will be selected by the end of the month and the application with for the expansion of the New Mexico Teacher Leader Network will be out this Fall.

  5. Empowered Teachers 

    Through the course of the conference we were able to see teachers realize that they have so much power to impact change for their students and schools. I really enjoyed watching teachers lean into their power as teachers and begin to empower others.

  6. Secretary Skandera’s Final Interview with Romy Drucker from The 74 Million

    Although her last day on the job was June 20th, Secretary Skandera was present at the New Mexico Teacher Summit and did a final interview with the CEO of the online education site, The 74 Million, Romy Drucker. Secretary Skandera reflected on her time in New Mexico, shared her lessons learned, and thanked the teachers for attending and creating so many opportunities for teachers to be equipped, empowered and championed.

  7. National Teacher of the Year Sydney Chaffee 

    It was such an honor to have the National Teacher of the Year, Sydney Chaffee, join us for the Summit. Sydney delivered the keynote address at our celebration dinner on night 1 of the summit. During her keynote, Sydney talked about the power of teacher voice and encouraged all teachers to get involved.

  8. More than 36 awesome break out sessions

    PED Staff and external partners came together to host more than 36 breakout sessions on everything form iStation and PARCC, to Teacher Evaluation and School Grades, small group sessions with Acting Secretary Ruszkowski and focus groups on new literacy programs. We also had sessions on Teacher Leader opportunities, Curriculum and Lesson Planning and so much more. All sessions were kicked off by a teacher leader, which was a great way to highlight their effort and commitment.

  9. #NMTeacherSummit

    We had a blast following teacher’s favorite moments and take-aways on Twitter. Participants were encouraged to interact using #NMTeacherSummit allowing others to follow along.

  10. Teachers Leading

    Our teacher leaders were in force at the Summit. They introduced every break out session, introduced every keynote speakers, led teacher shout outs from the stage and assisted their colleagues. Some of our teacher leaders even led break out sessions. This was truly our vision come to life. Teachers equipping, empowering and championing their peers. It was the highlight of my career to watch it unfold.

The NM Teacher Summit equipped, empowered, and championed our teachers, but don’t take my word for it. Check out what teachers had to say about the event:

Santa Fe Teacher

I had an amazing time these past two days! I truly believe that we are on a positive path in New Mexico! 

Las Cruces Teacher

The Summit made me realize I need to get out of my comfort zone after 28 years of teaching. I can’t wait to get the STA application in my hand, and if that doesn’t work out, I’ll apply for the School Liaison. There is so much work to be done, and I want to be part of it!!! 

Albuquerque Teacher

This girl is on FIRE! Based on two of the breakout sessions, I have revamped my first two weeks of lessons. Inquiry based life science with argumentation discussions based on Claim, Evidence, and Reasoning. I am so excited! Also, I’m hoping to take these ideas back to my site and share with my colleagues. Between the STEM Symposium and The Summit, I am fired up! Thank you NMPED and our teacher leaders! 

Artesia Teacher

It was so enjoyable to spend two days in such a positive atmosphere. 

Texico Teacher

I have of being a part of something so incredibly dynamic and motivating! From the beginning to the end, I felt that I was involved in something transformative and inspired. The general sessions were all inclusive and uniting, and the break outs supported so many varied personal interests. The two days were uplifting and affirming as an educator. I feel valued and respected, heard and recognized, and most of all, championed. 

We hope to see you at next year’s Teacher Summit! Date to come soon!

To find resources and presentations from the teacher summit click here.

New Resources and Opportunities for Teachers

New Resources and Opportunities 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

NEW NMTEACH RESOURCES

EARLY CHILDHOOD LEARNING RESOURCES

ISTATION NEWSLETTER

OPPORTUNITY FOR SCIENCE TEACHERS

I wanted to share a website with you that Science teachers might find helpful.  It is www.need.org.  If you have schools that are part of an electric co-op that is partnered with Tri-State, they can apply to attend a conference in Westminster, CO in the summer.  Travel and hotel expenses are covered, and the great part is that every teacher that participates receives a science kit at the beginning of the school year.

SPRING PARCC ADMINISTRATION WINDOW BEGINS

An estimated 2.4 million students will take PARCC assessments this spring, with some schools in Illinois having started this past week. Parents and students are encouraged to check with their local school district for more information on when their school will be administering assessments. The PARCC website has a wealth of resources for parentsteachers, and students in every state, including information on how assessments are developed and how they will be administered. The website also features information on test accessibilitystudent data security, and more. In addition, more than 1,400 authentic released items from the first two years of PARCC testing are available to view online, while the test administration resources portal features technology readiness tools for teachers and administrators, practice tests for students, training modules for test administrators and coordinators, and much more. Understandthescore.org also has detailed information on last year’s score reports, including score report examples from each state, designed to provide another important resource for preparing for this year’s assessments.

PRESIDENTIAL AWARDS FOR EXCELLENCE IN MATHEMATICS AND SCIENCE TEACHING

With less than three weeks remaining until the nomination deadline on April 1, PAEMST needs your help to ensure that your state is represented in the 2017 awards cycle. We want to know what we can do to help ensure that every deserving teacher in your area is nominated before time runs out. Nominate a teacher or apply today at www.peamst.org and click HERE for more information.

GUEST POST: REFLECTIONS ON THE 2016 TEACHER SUMMIT

GUEST POST: REFLECTIONS ON THE 2016 TEACHER SUMMIT

There is no question that the last few years in education — with their myriad of changes in standards, testing and teaching evaluations, and all the debates that went with them — have sometimes made teachers feel hard pressed to stay on top of everything being asked of them.

Through it all, we used each other as sounding boards for ideas on how to adopt Common Core, how to prepare kids for PARCC and for how to upload those NMTeach artifacts. And we also did plenty of griping about those responsible (read Secretary Hanna Skandera).

So when I found out about the recent New Mexico Teacher Summit and that it would provide the opportunity to ask some of the burning questions that have come up over the last few years, I jumped at the chance. And I was not disappointed.

No, I didn’t convince Secretary Skandera to dump the evaluation system or get rid of EOCs. But I did find out that she and her staff are open to, and actually want, feedback from teachers in order to improve those systems.

In every session I attended, from NMTeach 101 to an introduction to the federal Every Student Succeeds Act, our presenters invited questions and did their best to answer them honestly. And they didn’t sugarcoat the problems or why they chose their solutions. I also got the chance to hear from tons of smart, talented teachers from across the state. It was clear they care about kids and want our schools to serve them better.

I also learned more about the Secretary’s Teacher Advisory, a group of 17 teachers from across New Mexico who are doing their best to present our perspective to Secretary Skandera and report back to those of us on the ground. There are also plans to form a larger group of teacher leaders who will hopefully translate all that state policy to those of us who are too busy planning lessons to pay attention to every change coming our way.

It would be a lie to say that I came away completely convinced of every move Secretary Skandera and her staff have made recently. I still think we can get better at helping kids and supporting teachers. But I can say that as teachers we can’t sit idly by complaining. We need to jump in there with our own ideas and solutions, from policy on down to classroom practice.

The New Mexico Teacher Summit was a valuable first step in empowering teachers to be a part of the process. I wait eagerly to find out what becomes of all the opinions and ideas that teachers shared over the summit’s two days. And I can’t wait until next year.

John Sena is an English teacher at Española Valley High School