Data show why New Mexico needs education reform

Albuquerque Journal Editorial Board:

Nationally, the education establishment has loved to hate the federal No Child Left Behind act since it was adopted in 2001. More than a decade later, the same attitude unfortunately applies to New Mexico implementing the necessary reforms to make NCLB’s rigid standards go away in favor of new ways to boost and measure student achievement.
Despite federal waiver requirements to adopt a new school rating system, teacher evaluations linked to student achievement and Common Core standards, unions, many New Mexico legislators, and some educators and their administrators have fought the reforms tooth and nail. Even though the reforms are teacher-designed, student-focused and data-driven.
And even though New Mexico:

  • Has fourth-graders ranked 49th in reading and 48th in mathematics, according to the Nation’s Report Card from the U.S. Department of Education;
  • Ranks 47th in K-12 achievement according to the Quality Counts survey;
  • Gets barely half of its students able to read at grade level and just 43 percent proficient in math, according to the most recent Standards-Based Assessment; and