New Mexico school grades released, LCPS a mixed bag

KTSM
The School Yard

POSTED: Thursday, July 24, 2014 - 8:57pm

UPDATED: Friday, July 25, 2014 - 3:40pm

 The report cards are in for New Mexico public schools as Governor Susana Martinez's administration has rated each school on an A through F scale.

It's a mixed bag when it comes to the school grading and Las Cruces Public Schools. 

In all, three school received an A grade, 13 a B, 12 got a C, 10 a D and only one school, Booker T. Washington, received an ‘F’ grade. 

“Our middle schools were not treated well with this grading,” said LCPS Superintendent Stan Rounds. “Our elementary schools saw some nice grades.” 

Rounds said they weren't surprised by the grades the schools in the district received.

He said while it is good to look at these types of statistics, it doesn't matter what grade the school received because they want to help all the schools equally.

"The most critical piece is, how do I as a parent and we as a school community work together to make sure your child is successful,” said Rounds.

One of the key components to the grading system is the amount of progress students experience in reading and math. 

For New Mexico as a whole, the number of school's earning A’s and B’s were greater than the number of D and F schools.

Governor Martinez said the grades will help teachers, parents, and the administration better understand how they can help serve students.

"School grades are an important tool that education leaders, community leaders, and parents can use to identify where students are struggling and intervene in a targeted way to help them," said Martinez in a statement.

But others see the grading system differently. 

"Part of the data driven system that the governor and the secretary designate of education are trying to implement,” said Patrick Sanchez. “Which leads to more testing and less instruction, a more narrow curriculum. So, we see it as bad thing."

Sanchez is the president of the National Education Association in Las Cruces. He is also a long time teacher at Lynn Middle School, which received a D grade.

He said the ranking of schools takes away from learning inside the classroom. 

And some parents agree that the grading system isn't fair. 

 “I think that grading system is flawed. I don't think the people that came up with it know what is going on in those schools,” said Lorynn Guerrero.

Gurrerro has two kids in LCPS.

She said she is more than confident in the education her children are getting. 

“I know the type of teachers that are at my kids schools so I feel comfortable and I know my kids' teachers do work hard," said Guerrero.

While Sanchez said he doesn't like the grading, he said we could still learn some valuable information. 

“It's no surprise that the lowest scoring schools are also in the poorest areas. It's no surprise that we need more resources in those areas,” said Sanchez.  

Something the education system is trying to improve. 

 School grade report cards for each school in New Mexico are available online on the Public Education Department website.

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