The controversial Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) is being replaced by an older test.
Earlier this month, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed an executive order ending the use of PARCC, a standardized test adopted by New Mexico in 2015. The Public Education Department was tasked with finding a replacement exam that is comparable to PARCC and meets the federal Every Student Succeeds Act.
Last week PED announced it would be using the New Mexico Standards-Based Transition Assessment of Mathematics and English Language Arts as the transition test replacing PARCC. This is the same test that was replaced by PARCC, but officials say it follows a new plan and meets federal requirements.
Critics have pointed out that the NMSBA is outdated by several years. Outgoing Public Education Secretary Christopher Ruszkowski said it could cost around $10 million for the state to develop a new test, according to Associated Press. Educators for Elevating New Mexico reportedly called the governor's decision “ill-informed” and members of the New Mexico Teacher Leader Network criticized the change being made without teacher input.
Authorities say a new test will be developed for the 2019-2020 school year with input from teachers and parents.
N.M. Ranked 48 in Child Poverty
A report found that the child poverty rate in New Mexico dropped over 2018, but the state continues to be rated as one of the worst in the nation.
New Mexico Voices for Children published the 2018 New Mexico Kids Count Data Book last week. The annual study analyzes “secondary data and study findings provided by credible research and data collection institutions both in the state and the nation, such as the US Census Bureau” to track the status and well-being of children in four areas: economic well-being, education, health and family, and community.
According to the report, New Mexico's child poverty rate improved slightly over last year, but its ranking remained at 48th in the US. According to the Associated Press, the rank hasn't changed because other states saw a much greater improvement in their child poverty ratings over the last year than New Mexico.
Overall, the report found the state failing in all four areas of concern. New Mexico was ranked 49th in economic well-being, 50th in education, 48th in health and 49th in the family and community.
Hundreds of N.M. Teachers Quit
A large number of public educators have quit mid-year, leading some experts to worry that the state's education system is facing a crisis.
According to KRQE, hundreds of teachers across the state have quit their jobs before the school year even ended, leaving some students with long-term substitutes. Authorities with Albuquerque Public Schools say 477 teachers have left since August, and 41 of them left within the first 3 months. The Rio Rancho and Santa Fe School districts each lost around 40 teachers since the beginning of the school year. APS reportedly said the numbers were typical. President of the Albuquerque Teachers Federation Ellen Bernstein told reporters last week that the issue needs to be addressed, however.