The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Area schools' proficiency still below 50 percent


July 26, 2017

Jenna Zamie

Area school districts are still crunching numbers, but most seem to be following statewide trends on test scores released this week.

Most area schools showed more students are proficient or better in reading and math than a year ago.

But still far fewer than 50 percent of students scored proficient or better in the tests.

The New Mexico Public Education Department on Monday released the results from the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) tests that were taken statewide in April.

"These scores are always a road map" for the districts' future plans to continue bettering education, said Clovis Municipal Schools Superintendent Jody Balch.

"All but two (Clovis schools) look to be on the plus side," Balch said, adding that he is more focused on progress of each individual student than district-wide numbers.

"By looking at student test scores, we can see where they've improved. We've got lots of positives and some negatives and most of our sites have grown," Balch said.

In Floyd, Superintendent Damon Terry said, "I think our most positive thing that we've seen is we got our scores early (because) last year it was after school started. That gives us time to look at scores (and) we're going to be able to review it with our teachers ... we'll be able to get our students into intervention classes."

"I don't immediately see any patterns (in scores compared to last year), but obviously we want to move kids out of lower levels to higher ones - that's our ultimate goal"

Portales Municipal Schools Superintendent Johnnie Cain said the district did not see gains it hoped for.

"We're not where we want to be, but the growth is there," Cain said.

He said the largest gains were observed at Portales Junior High.

In 2016, there were 17.5 percent of PJHS students who scored proficient in English and language arts compared to 29.8 percent in 2017.

In math, the junior highhad a 43 percent growth from last year, according to Cain.

"We feel like those are pretty good steps," Cain said, adding that PJHS changed its math curricula last year.

Cain said he prefers to analyze the scores on a school by school basis rather than looking at the whole district's progress.

"To me that's more important," because it is a more accurate representation of where gains were made and where each school still needs to improve, Cain said.

He added that each school district receives scores for each school and each student and PMS is using these numbers to chart growth at each grade level.

"This shows us if we've done something right," Cain said.


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