LAS CRUCES- New Mexico's education department has released low ratings for Las Cruces Public Schools.
The state's new report card gives Las Cruces public schools a grade of 'd' which is lower than most schools systems in New Mexico. Nearly 90% of New Mexico schools failed last year to make adequate progress according to the No Child Left Behind Act.
Superintendent Stan rounds says the requirements are unfair. No Child Left Behind requires every student, regardless of mental capacity or economics to be proficient in certain areas."There's certain populations that will never get there. There were thirty eight parts to no child left behind and if you failed one of those you failed completely."
Las Cruces Public School District is the second largest in the state of New Mexico which poses a huge problem if overall the schools didn't score well. One particular school. Loma Heights Elementary got a D. "Our kiddos have some language issues sometimes so they're second language students. We're a very poor district...it's not an excuse it's a convolution or a handicapping if you will as far as accelerating their education." He says it's the kids in the middle who aren't improving fast enough.
Flor Ramirez just learned about the districts' D rating but feels okay sending her kids to Loma Heights Elementary. "Well it makes me feel sad because i didn't know. They didn't tell us they got a D. I just hope they get what they need to get the grade higher."
New Mexico has asked the U.S. Education Department to allow it to use its own grading system; a more straight forward A to F grading scale. The system will include standardized tests and more focus on the year to year growth of student performances.
The superintendent has plans for his district. He says "enrich their experiences, i think accelerate their curriculum and place their standards a little higher as far as what their annual gains be in the classroom."
The New Mexico grading system they're proposing was approved by Legislature last year, but hasn't been passed. The schools in New Mexico are set to receive final grades this summer and Governor Susanna Martinez is pledging to improve school performances.