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RISD maintains a ‘steady C’ grade


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Surrounding area schools’ grades also provided

The New Mexico Public Education Department (PED) has determined that the Roswell Independent School District’s (RISD) weighted average grade has remained a C since last year.

The PED published the district report cards on their website on Thursday at 5 p.m. as required annually by state statute and the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The full report with budgetary information, school board training, graduation rates and more can be viewed online at webnew.ped.state.nm.us/bureaus/accountability/district-report-cards/.

A PED news release stated the purpose of the district report cards is to “provide a comprehensive report of each district’s achievement, growth, teacher qualifications and postsecondary success.”

Christopher Ruszkowski, secretary of education, said of the 89 districts statewide, 23 districts’ grades have fallen and only six have improved. He also said the districts’ student enrollment is included in the weighted average that determines the grades. According to PED statistics, the state serves 335,793 students and 10,394 in the Local Education Authority (LEA), districts with multiple schools or state-authorized charter schools.

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On a conference call, Ruszkowski said RISD stayed at a “steady C.” Dexter and Hagerman districts both received Cs and Lake Arthur earned a D.

“I believe that RISD has the potential, talent and will to be far more than average,” RISD Superintendent Dr. Ann Lynn McIlroy wrote in an emailed statement. “Disaggregated data for English learners, economically disadvantaged, students with disabilities and race/ethnic subgroups show that we meet or exceed state student performance of similar groups. Our biggest concern is our low 4-year cohort graduation rate at all schools. RISD educators will never be satisfied until that number and our proficiency rates far exceed the rest of the state.”

In the report card for graduation four-year cohort of 2017, the state’s current percentage of students graduating on time was 71 percent and 66 percent for LEA. For RISD this year, the rates are as follows: Goddard High School (GHS) at 65 percent, Roswell High School (RHS) at 69 percent and University High School (UHS) at 33 percent.

The 2016 report shows that the state’s percentages remained the same and GHS showed 77 percent, RHS had 68 percent and UHS was reported to have 34 percent of students graduating on time.

As mentioned in previous coverage, Military Heights Elementary School, El Capitan Elementary School and Sidney Gutierrez Middle School earned As. Del Norte Elementary School, East Grand Plains Elementary School, Berrendo Middle School, Mountain View Middle School, Pecos Elementary School and Valley View Elementary School have received Bs. Berrendo Elementary School, GHS, Washington Avenue Elementary School, and Early College High School earned Cs. Monterrey Elementary School, RHS, Mesa Middle School, Nancy Lopez, UHS and Sunset Elementary School earned Ds. Sierra Middle School and Missouri Avenue Elementary School earned Fs.

In RISD’s report card, Nancy Lopez Elementary School and Sierra Middle School have been designated as targeted support and improvement schools, meaning one or more subgroups of students are underperforming compared to other students. UHS was determined to be a school in need of comprehensive support and improvement, which means at least one-third of the students are not graduating on time or the school is ranked in the five percent of the lowest performing schools.

According to a PED news release, RISD’s ranking is comparable to the following other large districts: Albuquerque Public Schools, Gallup-McKinley County Schools, Gadsden Independent School District, Hobbs Municipal Schools, and Los Lunas Schools — all of which have earned C grades. The release additionally stated that most of the larger districts retained their overall grades with some schools improving and others the PED has determined have areas for critical improvement.

In August, the individual schools’ grades were released and Ruszkowski explained it takes extra time to process the districts’ information. Recently, the PED implemented the online portal (nmschoolgrades.com) where schools’ individual grades are available, and soon district grades will also be available.

For the As and Fs, Cloudcroft Municipal Schools, Corona Municipal Schools, Des Moines Municipal Schools, Melrose Public Schools, and Tatum Municipal Schools earned As, while Mountainair Public Schools, Vaughn Municipal Schools, and Zuni Public Schools earned Fs.

City/RISD reporter Alison Penn can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or at reporter04@rdrnews.com.