July 22, 2010
For Immediate Release
Contact: Tracie O’Hara, Director of Accountability, 575-527-5971, firstname.lastname@example.org
or Jo Galvan, Director of Communications, 575.527.5811, email@example.com
LCPS Receives State Report on Adequately Yearly Progress
LAS CRUCES---The New Mexico Public Education Department (PED) today released
information regarding the number of schools in New Mexico that made Adequate Yearly
Progress (AYP). The results show that Las Cruces Public Schools has one school — White
Sands Middle School — that made AYP this year. This compares to last year’s number of three
schools that made AYP (Hillrise, Loma Heights, and Mesilla elementary schools).
AYP represents the annual academic targets, primarily in reading and math, that schools
must reach to be considered on track with the federally mandated goal (No Child Left Behind) of
100% proficiency by school year 2013-2014. To reach this goal, schools strive for annual
improvement, which is measured for students in grades 3-8 and grade 11. Students are tested
each year with the New Mexico Standards Based Assessment (NMSBA). The results of the tests
are used by the PED to determine school designations such as “Meets AYP.”
Today’s release of AYP information gives our district a big picture of how well our
students did on the NMSBA. However, it is critical that certain information must be clearly
understood before anyone can interpret with finite accuracy what the data truly means. Our
district will not jump to conclusions, but will take the necessary time to closely analyze the data
through the LCPS Accountability, Assessment, and Research (AAR) Department. As the
analysis continues, we will confer with school principals who, in turn, will work with teachers
and staff to understand what the NMSBA data shows and what adjustments to our instructional
practices should be made in our individual classrooms.
From our preliminary review, it may appear that LCPS students did not improve as much as
we had hoped. We know there is some decline in some grade levels in subjects such as math and
reading, and improvements are needed across the board. And yet, many areas of success and
increases in academic performance can also be seen. We have had approximately two days to
study the voluminous amount of data and there is one thing of which we can be sure — LCPS
cannot yet compare the 2011 test results to the 2010 results to accurately determine how much
improvement (growth) our students made or didn’t make.
There are several reasons why:
1) The 2011 NMSBA tests were changed from the previous year. There were more
multiple-choice questions and fewer open-ended questions.
2) Whenever tests are changed, new performance standards must be set. These standards,
known as “cut scores”, were based on a new, adjusted scale, different from the previous
school year. The PED Secretary-designate, in a memo dated July 1, 2011 to all New
Mexico superintendents, stated, “Scores on the SBA’s vertical scale and the vertically
moderated scale are not comparable.” This means that LCPS should not compare the
current New Mexico Standards Based Assessment (SBA) results with last year’s figures
without doing a conversion.
3) The change in the baseline has impacted test results. As an example, it now may take a
95% score to make an “A” whereas in 2010, it took a 90% score.
4) It’s also important to consider that the Annual Measurable Objective (AMO), the targets
of how many students should test “proficient or above” in reading and math, was raised
significantly this year in order to reach the federal NCLB goal of 100% proficiency by
5) The 2010-11 NMSBA performance standards were changed to remedy a long-standing
problem that impacted 6th grade scores. The change was done to repair performance
standards that falsely made sixth graders underperform compared to students in adjacent
grades, a problem that has troubled New Mexico educators for years.
Superintendent Stan Rounds encourages everyone to take these and other considerations into
account when reviewing the AYP information that will be posted on the LCPS district website.
And as our AYP data is broken down and put back together, the results will be further explained
to our parents and community.
“I want to commend the hard work of our teaching and instructional staff,” Rounds said. “As
our teachers already know, NMSBA test scores are only one indicator of how well our students
Rounds also offered these general statements that have been gleaned from the AYP data:
• Elementary School: the number of students who must be proficient in order to meet AYP
increased from 67% in 2010 to 77% in 2011; and increased from 57% to 68% in math.
• Middle School: the number of students who must be proficient in order to meet AYP increased
from 61% in 2010 to 72% in 2011; and increased from 48% to 63% in math.
• High School: the number of students who must be proficient in order to meet AYP increased
from 64% in 2010 to 75% in 2011; and increased from 53% to 66% in math.
• Schools must meet 37 “indicators” when achieving the “Meets AYP” status. Two schools —
Camino Real Middle School and San Andres High School — decreased the “indicators missed”
number to less than 3; eight schools decreased their “indicators missed” overall: Sonoma and
University Hills elementary schools; Camino Real, Lynn, Picacho, Sierra, and White Sands
middle schools; and San Andres High School.
8 of the 35 (23%) schools showed growth* in the number of students who were proficient in
4 of 24 (17%) of the elementary schools
4 of 7 (57%) of the middle schools
0 of 4 (0%) of the high schools
1 of the 35 schools showed more than a 10% increase in students proficient in math
Camino Real Middle School
12 of the 35 (29%) schools showed growth* in the number of students who were proficient in
5 of 24 elementary schools (21%); Columbia, Doña Ana, Fairacres, Sonoma, & Valley
6 of 7 middle schools (86%); Camino Real, Lynn, Sierra, Vista, White Sands, & Zia
o White Sands with more than a 12% increase
o Sierra with more than an 11% increase
o Camino Real and Lynn each with more than a 9% increase
1 of 4 high schools (25%)
o San Andres with a 13% increase
*LCPS added 3 schools in 2010-2011 for a total of 38. These three schools have only one year of data, thus they are
not referred to in growth statements.