Quay school systems show improvement

Steve Hansen and Thomas Garcia

Quay County Sun

All four public school systems in Quay County showed improvement in New Mexico’s 2013 school grades from 2012 results, according to the New Mexico

Public Education Department, which released its grades for state public

schools on Thursday.

Among individual schools, Tucumcari High school made the county”s only A grade. House Elementary was the only school to drop a grade from a B to a C.

Converted to grade-point averages, Tucumcari and Logan schools scored the biggest gains, each scoring a 3.0 (B) average in 2013, compared with a 2.3 (C) average in 2012.

House schools showed a gain from a 2.3 average in 2012 to a 2.7 average in 2013.

San Jon schools showed a rise from 2.0 in 2012 to 2.3 in 2013.

Here’s how Quay County schools fared in 2013 (2012 in parentheses):

Tucumcari

Elementary: C (C)

Middle: B (B)

High School: A (C)

 

House

Elementary: C (B)

Junior High: B (C)

High: B (C)

 

Logan

Elementary: B (B)

Middle: B (C)

High: B (C)

 

San Jon

Elementary: C (C)

Middle: C (C)

High: B (C)

While this is the third year in which New Mexico schools have been graded by the guidelines of the state’s school accountability system, it the second year

in which the state’s system replaced the federal Adequate Yearly Progress

system last year.

New Mexico was among 11 states allowed to replace the AYP system with its own in 2012.

Tucumcari Schools Assistant Superintendent Dave Johnson said Tucumcari High School’s A grade was very pleasing, but he was not sure how the school

went from A to C to A in three consecutive years.

He said mathematics scores have improved significantly at Tucumcari High

over the past five years. Tucumcari Middle School’s B grade and the

elementary school’s grade of C were unchanged from last year.

Johnson said he was pleased to note that there was improvement in the performance of both the highest-performing students and lowest-performing students this year compared to last.

All three of Logan s schools got B grades. Johnnie Cain, superintendent of Logan Schools, said, We were hoping for better, but I understand the dynamics of the grading system. 

Logan High improved from a C grade last year. The elementary and middle schools  grades were unchanged.

The dyanamics, he said, arise because there are many different areas that are measured in the school report cards. In a small district like Logan, one or two students can affect the percentages significantly, Cain added. He said he was pleased to note learning growth in both high-performing and low-performing students last year.

House Superintendent Lecil Richards said he likes the grading system, because we need to be held accountable.  House elementary was the only school to drop a grade in Quay County, and Richards said that, statewide, all the elementary schools seem to be struggling a bit.  As with Logan, Richards said, the House system is a small one and a couple of kids can make a difference  in how a school scores..

We adopted the state common core standards last year,  he said, and we hope to have them full-blown this year. 

San Jon Superintendent Colin Taylor said he was pleased that San Jon High School advance to a B, but we can always do better,  he added.

Taylor said there was some confusion that resulted from the state mailing out its model for reporting results at the last minute. 

We only had two weeks to fill out all these forms and gather this information,  he said. We think with more time we may have gotten more bonus points.  Bonus points were part of the scoring system for taking specific actions., he said. Also, Taylor said, the formula for determining scores is not easily deciphered. 

He said, however, that he hopes the schools will continue to make progress and improve their scores next year.

Statewide, over 70 percent of New Mexico schools maintained or improved their school grades, a news release from Gov. Susana Martinez s office said. High schools showed the greatest improvement. This is the second official release of school grades since New Mexico instituted the A-F system in 2011.

The 2013 results show that 82 New Mexico schools earned an A grade, while 224 schools achieved a B grade  an increase of 63 schools collectively over the same categories in 2012, the news release said, while The number of D and F schools decreased from 314 in 2012 to 303 in 2013.

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