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ENMU educator program scored by state

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Eastern New Mexico University’s professional educator program, a major educational program for area students, has been given a “C” by the state education department in its first release of scorecards for the state’s educator preparation college programs.

Dr. Jamie Laurenz, ENMU vice president of academic affairs. (Submitted Photo)

The New Mexico Public Education Department released the scorecards Tuesday during the annual teacher summit in Albuquerque. They summarize universities’ performance in five areas in regard to the training and preparation of K12 teachers.

“It is our moral obligation and duty to our children and families to ensure day-one ready teachers, and when aspiring teachers complete their preparation programs — sometimes after paying tens of thousands of dollars in tuition — they deserve to be fully prepared to deliver for their students,” said Education Secretary Christopher Ruszkowski.

The PED has worked for three years to develop the scorecards, talking with Higher Education Department leadership, college and university administrators, and public school faculties, according to PED officials. A way to measure the effectiveness of such programs was recommended by reports issued by the New Mexico Legislative Finance Committee in 2006 and 2012.

“HED stands behind PED as we raise the bar for our teacher preparation programs,” said Higher Education Secretary Barbara Damron. “It’s critical that we hold teacher preparation programs accountable and continue pushing for better outcomes for our students.”

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Thirteen university and college programs were graded on admissions (attracting a diverse and academically prepared group of students), candidate promise (development of students demonstrating competency in the program), hiring and retention (the ability of graduates to obtain jobs and remain in the field) and graduate performance (how graduates do in the classroom).

Four institutions received cumulative scores of Bs, eight received Cs and one received a D.

With a cumulative score of 148.06 out of a possible 188 points— or a 78.76 percent — ENMU’s College of Educational and Technology received the fifth highest score.

“We have only recently received the final scorecard,” said Dr. Jamie Laurenz, vice president of academic affairs for ENMU. “ENMU, however, is committed to the continuous quality improvement of our academic programs. We sincerely welcome both external and internal data/information that help inform programmatic improvement.”

Its scores in two areas, classroom performance and hiring and retention, equated to Bs, but the university received a C for admissions, with the “diversity of students” factor scoring the lowest of other factors in this category. It also got a D for candidate promise, primarily due to licensing exam scores that were lower than state goals and a diversity rating also below the state goal.

According to data provided, most ENMU graduates teach in New Mexico and they had a 90 percent retention rate in their field from academic year-end 2015 to academic year-end 2017.

Laurenz said the teacher preparatory programs typically have about 100 people enrolled each year.

He added that the scorecards are seen ideally as a way to aid the university in its goal of producing educators and administrators who can help New Mexico citizens receive a “world-class” education.

“We welcome opportunities to collaborate with all stakeholders who share the same sense of urgency and who can provide feedback that will accelerate that effort,” he said.

Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 310, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.

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Lisa Dunlap is a general assignment reporter for the Roswell Daily Record.