TMS Flunks (Again!)

By: Bill Whaley
25 July, 2011

Below, Taos Friction posts the latest on state and local education, written by NMPED Secretary Heather Skandera and Taos education maven, Lorraine Coca-Ruiz.  While TMS has been spending money like crazy on softball and laying off teachers, the students have flunked AYP, again. Meanwhile, Taos Charter School and Anasi Charter passed AYP. Higher grad rates at THS reflect a change in the criteria–the way student cohorts are counted, so the figures are fairly meaningless. While honors students continue to score well, the majority appear to be failing badly. But Taosenos have what they want, a quiet school board, peace at CRAB Hall, and gridlock in the classroom.

The current distribution of capital and labor in America reflects the accelerating inequality in wealth. Similarly there  is an increasing gap between the educated and uneducated. Those who find the public schools insufferable are encouraged to seek out GED programs and community college self-help programs. The old educational system–due to self-interested administrators–is simply fading away like economic fairness.

While TMS sinks into the crisis (?), the Superintendent “El Weston” fiddles with his speed dial. Apparently, he’s on vacation. Way to hum, Rod. Doing some shopping with that $100,000 plus salary along with your retirement income from your other career in education (?).  You sure have outsmarted the locals, you dog.

New Mexico
Public Education Department
300 Don Gaspar
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501-2786

Hanna Skandera

For Immediate Release: July 22, 2011

New Mexico’s AYP Rankings Signal
the Need for Reform

SANTA FE – The New Mexico Public Education Department (PED) released the Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) rankings for 831 public schools on Friday. The AYP rankings reveal that nearly 87% of New Mexico’s schools are not making adequate progress under the federal No Child left Behind (NCLB) Act. When it comes to student proficiency, only 42% of New Mexico students perform at grade level in Math and Science and only 50% are proficient in Reading.

“The message couldn’t be clearer: our children need education reform now,” said Secretary-designate Hanna Skandera. “Educators know almost 87% of our schools aren’t failing,” Secretary Skandera continued, “and that’s why we need reforms like our A through F school grading system.”

While the pass or fail nature of NCLB makes it difficult to get a clear picture of school performance, what the rankings do point out is the need for increased focus in core subject areas such as literacy. One example is in 3r grade reading where only 53% of children are performing at grade level. The consequences of passing those children on to the next grade become evident as the rankings show only 47% of New Mexico 4th graders are proficient in Reading.

“These rankings show we’re not getting the job done and that’s not acceptable for our children,” said Secretary Skandera. “We now have an opportunity to be honest about what our kids need and acknowledge what we’ve done in the past isn’t working,” she continued.

In the Fall, the Public Education Department plans to submit a waiver to the U.S. Department of Education to replace the NCLB accountability rankings with New Mexico’s own A through F grading system. Federal education officials have signaled their intention to grant such waivers to states who want to expand on reforms while still raising accountability for students.


by Lorraine Coca-Ruiz

Summary Detail

2011-12 District Accountability Report New Mexico Public Education Department District: 76

Ratings and designations apply to 2011-2012; District Rating 2011-12 Not Met CA-2
2010-11 Not Met Designation CA-2

Key to Designations: Progressing (none)

DI-1 = District Improvement 1 DI-2 = District Improvement 2
CA-1 = Corrective Action 1 CA-2 = Corrective Action 2
Delay = made AYP, the first of two years required to return to Progressing


2011-12 Not Met CA-2
2010-11 Not Met CA-2
Number Enrolled in AYP 1269 Number Participated 1266


2011-12 Not Met CA-2
2011-12 Not Met CA-2

1 Subgroups of 25 or more must meet AYP goals

2 95% of each subgroup of 40 or more must participate

3 Includes current English Language Learners (ELL) as well as those ELL within the past two years

4 Proficiencies include only students enrolled for the full academic year (FAY)

5 The size of the confidence interval is based on the number of students in the subgroup; shown only for groups meeting minimum size for AYP

6 <2 = less than 2″k of students in this group preformed at or above proficient; >98% = more than 98% of students in this group performed at or above proficient

7 Must be 92.00% or higher

8 Must be 65.00% or higher

Met AYP by Safe Harbor provision

Taos High School

AYP Status (NOT MET) School Designation (R-2) Accreditation Status (PROVISIONAL)

Graduation Rate 71.70 %

Taos Middle School

AYP Status (NOT MET) School Designation (R-2) Accreditation Status (PROVISIONAL)

Enos Garcia Elementary

AYP Status (NOT MET) School Designation (R-2) Accreditation Status (PROVISIONAL)

Ranchos Elementary

AYP Status (NOT MET) School Designation (CA) Accreditation Status (PROVISIONAL)

Arroyos Del Norte Elementary

AYP Status (NOT MET) School Designation (R-1) Accreditation Status (PROVISIONAL)

Chrysalis Alternative

AYP Status (NOT MET) School Designation (SI-2) Accreditation Status (PROVISIONAL)

Taos Cyber Magnet

AYP Status (NOT MET) School Designation (SI-2) Accreditation Status (PROVISIONAL)

Adequate Yearly progress (AYP) is a tool that is required by NCLB to determine which school districts and schools are making adequate academic progress, and which schools will be identified as needing improvement, corrective action or restructuring because they are not making the required progress.

All states that accept Title I funding (currently every state) must establish AYP goals for every public school district and school in the state.

Every state is required to assess, and report on, the AYP performance of every school in the state, even for those schools and school districts that do not qualify as Title I entities.

Sanctions will be applied for those Title I schools that fail to make AYP. Sanctions do not apply to non-Title I schools.

NCLB says Title 1 schools are supposed to make arrangements for kids to attend schools that are passing. Passing schools are those making their Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) goals. This requirement still applies even if it means transferring to a school in a different district. NCLB says that all children in a failing school can choose to go to a non-failing school. If there is no other passing school in your district, you may choose a school in another district.

If the school district fails to meet its AYP goal for two consecutive years, all the children in the school may choose to attend a non-failing school in your school district.

If all schools in your district fail, you may send your child to a school in another school district.

If the school district fails to reach its AYP goal for three years, your school will provide supplemental services to the children remaining there. These supplemental services include tutoring, after-school programs, and summer school.

NCLB measures schools in three areas: academic performance, test participation and a “second indicator,” such as graduate rate or attendance.

Because the superintendent has been out on leave the principals cannot make schedules for teachers nor do they know how many students will be in each class room.  The job of the superintendent is to hire and fire. We know how many teachers were fired. However, courtesy interviews have been taking place and the employees are waiting to find out were the seven teaching positions will be placed.

The superintendent and a board member decided on who would get pink slips without checking the performance evaluation of the teachers. Now they are leaving all those administrators and support staff to sit around trying to look busy? One of our most expensive line items is the salary paid to the superintendent, since I left the school board the superintendent has taken many hours of annual leave. Isn’t anyone keeping record of his attendance? It’s not that we have not known we were in financial trouble. We just chose to ignore the problem.

Terminating teachers was not the answer. The right answer is to eliminate the layers of administrators and cut the unreasonable salaries of those newly created secretary positions. Since when is an administrative secretary position needed for high school councilors?

To meet AYP teachers are needed.

I’ll be watching

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