courtesy Joleene Starr
4th grade teacher at Raton
RATON — Families, students, and teachers, let’s show the nation what New Mexico students know and can do in reading and math! The time is quickly approaching for students in 4th and 8th grade to participate in the National Assessment of Educational Progress or NAEP. NAEP is the primary assessment used to highlight the academic gains students are making and New Mexico students ARE making progress. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that we get excited and motivated to put New Mexico in the spotlight showcasing our children’s academic growth.
For those that do not know, the NAEP assessment is taken by students across the nation and is used to measure how students are performing academically The test has been administered since 1969 by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) within the U.S. Department of Education and the Institute of Education Sciences (IES). The information obtained from NAEP assists in creating improvements in educational policies and practices across the nation.
The assessment is NOT a pass or fail. It IS a snapshot of how students compare nationally based on gender, race, ethnicity, and school location. Not all New Mexico students participate. The National Center for Educational Statistics and the Public Education Department determine which schools (both public and charter) meet the criteria to participate. Of the schools chosen, approximately 30 students per grade level are randomly chosen to participate in the reading and math assessments.
New Mexico has made educational gains as evidenced by NAEP. Results from 2017 reveal both 4th and 8th grade students have made progress in reading. Twenty-five percent of all fourth grade students and 24% of all 8th graders scored at or above proficiency in reading. Female fourth and eighth grade students outscored their male counterparts by eight points. Of the Hispanic population that participated, 62% scored at basic proficiency and 20% scored at or above proficiency. The 4th grade Native American students that completed the assessment scored 34% at basic proficiency and 12% at or above proficiency. Eighth grade Native Americans scored 52% at basic proficiency and 12% at or above proficiency.
Over the past year, New Mexico students have also made significant progress on PARCC reading and math assessments. The data proves that education is improving. Let’s keep that train rolling! As an educator, I can say we are tired of ranking 49th in the nation based on the NAEP assessment.
With that in mind, we need to highlight the importance of students trying their best to showcase the positive academic growth New Mexico’s children are making. Help alleviate test anxiety by stressing the assessment is a “growth check” of where New Mexico ranks nationally. Make sure students get a good night’s rest and eat a healthy breakfast the day of the exam. Most importantly, families and teachers, be positive and supportive. Let’s get excited about our New Mexico students and educators. We are proud of the accomplishments they are making! Keep up the momentum and let’s show the nation our best.
Families can go to nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/parents/ for sample questions, parent survey questionnaires, and answers to frequently asked questions . Teachers can go to nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/participating/schools.aspx for more information on how to prepare students and obtain resources. For complete reports, go to www.nationsreportcard.gov/profiles/stateprofile?chort=1&sub=MAT&sj=&sfj=NP&st=MN&year=2017R3