Quay County schools receive passing marks from state grading system

All Quay County schools received passing grades Monday under the guidelines of the state's new school grading system.

The results, announced by Gov. Susana Martinez, show more than 65 percent of the state's schools either maintained or improved their marks from grades that were first released in January.

Tucumcari High School dropped from an A to C, while the elementary school improved to a C and the middle school to a B, both of which had previously received a D.

"One of the issues we had was our reading scores were low across the board," said Dave Johnson, Tucumcari School's assistant superintendent.

Johnson said he is not sure if the reading test is harder than compared to last year's or if the problem is in the material being taught to the students. He said it is hard to comprehend how all the reading scores could be down for all the schools. The low scores had a compound effect on all the school's grades.

The state's current grading system replaced the federal governments Adequate Yearly Progress system, which according to estimates, would have labeled nearly 98 percent of the state's schools as "failing" this year.

In February, New Mexico became one of the first 11 states in the country to receive a waiver from the AYP rating system. State officials developed and implemented a school accountability system created specifically for the students.

This new system was designed to provide better information about student progress by measuring them in several areas of achievement rather than basing their development on a single test score.

Logan elementary dropped to a B, the middle school moved from a D to B and the high school remained at a C.

"I'm not sure if this new grading system is going to work better, though it does gives us more areas to review," said Johnnie Cain, Logan school's superintendent.

Cain said this new system gives schools a better view of their strong and weak points. He said with the proficiency system nothing was taken into consideration other than the score.

Cain said it's going to take time to see how the information contained in the new grading will help the schools.

"These results are not only important to inform parents and students today about where their school stands, but they are helpful for teachers, school leaders, and community stakeholders who want to take action to reform education in New Mexico and improve our schools," said

Johnson said the state is doing a good job with how early they are getting the grading information to the schools. He said in the past, the information would not come in until a week or two before the start of the school year in August.

Johnson said receiving the information earlier will give the administration and principals a chance to work with teachers to review and develop a curriculum better suited to improve the students achievements.

School grades are calculated using at least three years' worth of data whenever possible in areas such as academic growth, attendance, support of both the highest and lowest performing students, and college and career readiness.

Here's how the area schools fared:

Tucumcari Elementary: C

Tucumcari Middle: B

Tucumcari High: C

House Elementary: B

House Junior High: C

House High: C

Logan Elementary: B

Logan Middle: B

Logan High: C

San Jon Elementary: C

San Jon Middle: C

San Jon High: C

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