Portales schools show improvement under new grading system

Improvement, however big or small, is a good thing, according to Clovis and Portales school officials.

The Clovis and Portales school districts flunked in the category of growth of lowest performing students in the new state School Grading System for school districts but saw overall improvements in math and reading.

"Our scores are better overall this year," said Portales schools superintendent Randy Fowler. "We saw increases in our levels of proficiency at most grade levels and improvement in reading at all grade levels but one."

As opposed to basing the system on a single test score as the Adequate Yearly Progress grading system did, the new school grades are calculated using at least three years' worth of data (whenever possible) in areas of academic growth, attendance, support of both the highest and lowest performing students and college and career readiness.

According to a press release from the state Governor's Office, AYP federal ratings would have labeled nearly 98 percent of New Mexico's schools as "failing" this year, with little useful information to differentiate between schools based on growth or proficiency.

Under the new system, all but 69 of the states 831 schools passed, although 250 got Ds and 275 got Cs. Only 39 received an A, while 198 got Bs.

Education Secretary Hanna Skandera says the new system enables the state to more clearly evaluate what needs to be done to help schools improve.

With being compared to the state average, Portales schools improved in math and reading from AYP standards while Clovis had a variety of letter grade scores in the same area.

"Overall, eight of our schools increased by at least one letter grade, five school grades remained the same and three decreased," Clovis superintendent Terry Myers said, comparing to the grading system's trial run held in January. "We are pleased with the overall scores we have received. They indicate great improvement for the majority of our schools."

Curry County schools which received an overall letter grade of A were Zia Elementary and Melrose Middle School.

Dora Elementary and Elida High School in Roosevelt County schools also received As.

Fowler said he was also pleased with the overall scores for Portales schools.

"I'm pleased that we show improvement from last year (compared to state standards)," he said. "That is our goal is to continually improve and I do see that we are doing that, so I'm very pleased."

Other Curry and Roosevelt County school districts also scored high overall with improvements in math and reading but low with growth of lowest performing students with Dora Elementary and Floyd Middle School being the only schools scoring above a C letter grade.

Elida and Floyd high schools were the only local high schools to score above a C letter grade in college and career readiness.

"A grade of a C is a good mark with this accountability system. If you receive an A or a B, you are doing exceptional," Myers said. "Why we are so pleased, as a district, is we saw a percentage improvement over last year with math and reading."

"As we get our district scores as compared to the state level, our comments might change," he added. "It's brand new information to us too, but it appears we've done well as far as the accountability system is concerned. We're certainly not satisfied with the progress we've made but we are pleased that we have made progress. There is still room for improvement here and we are going to work even harder to improve next year."

Clovis Municipal Schools

Arts Academy — C

Barry Elementary — B

Cameo Elementary — B

Clovis High School — C

Freshman Academy — C

Highland Elementary — D

James Bickley Elementary — D

La Casita Elementary — C

Lockwood Elementary — D

Marshall Middle School — B

Mesa Elementary — B

Parkview Elementary — D

Ranchvale Elementary — B

Sandia Elementary — B

Yucca Middle School — B

Zia Elementary — A

Grady Elementary — B

Grady Middle School — B

Grady High School — B

Melrose Elementary — B

Melrose Middle School — A

Melrose High School — C

Texico Elementary — C

Texico Junior High — B

Texico High School — C

De Baca County

Fort Sumner Elementary — C

Fort Sumner Middle — B

Fort Sumner High — C

Roosevelt County

Dora Elementary — A

Dora High School — B

Elida Elementary — B

Elida High School — A

Floyd Elementary — C

Floyd High School — B

Floyd Middle School — B

Portales Municipal Schools

Brown Elementary — C

James Elementary — C

Lindsey-Steiner Elementary — C

Portales Junior High — C

Portales High School — C

Valencia Elementary — C

Quay County

House

House Elementary — B

House Junior High — C

House High — C

Logan

Logan Elementary — B

Logan Middle — B

Logan High — C

San Jon

San Jon Elementary — C

San Jon Middle — C

San Jon High — C

Tucumcari

Tucumcari Elementary — C

Tucumcari Middle — B

Tucumcari High — C

Grades are established at the 90th percentile and 50th percentile, which represent 75 and 50 points, respectively.

Elementary and middle schools

Total points Grade

75.0 100 A

60.0 74.9 B

50.0 59.9 C

37.5 49.9 D

0.0 37.4 F

High school

75.0 to 100 A

65.0 74.9 B

50.0 64.9 C

35.0 49.9 D

0.0 34.9 F

Grading criteria

Current Standing

How did your students perform in the most recent school year?

Students are tested on how well they met targets for their grade level (Proficient).

School growth

In the past 3 years did your school increase grade level performance? For example did this year's 3rd graders improve over last year's 3rd graders'?

Growth of Highest Performing Students

How well did your school help individual students improve?

The highest performing students are those whose scores place them in the top three quarters (Q3) of their school. Individual student growth over the past 3 years is compared to average individual student growth for the state.

Growth of Lowest Performing Students

How well did your school help individual students improve?

The lowest performing students are those whose scores place them in the bottom quarter (Q1) of their school. Individual student growth over the past 3 years is compared to average individual student growth for the state.

Opportunity to Learn

Does your school foster an environment that facilitates learning?

Are teachers using recognized instructional methods, and do students want to come to school?

Bonus Points

Does your school provide exceptional encouragement for involving students and parents in education?

Examples include community outreach and mentoring programs.

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