School grades don’t make sense
With the state’s school grades distributed last week, it seems as though the schools in Valencia County are not as happy as the officials — and us all — would have hoped.
Five of the 17 schools in Los Lunas didn’t make the grade. Raymond Gabaldon Elementary, Desert View Elementary, Ann Parish Elementary, Los Lunas and Century high schools each received a “D.”
In Belen, it was much worse. Six of the district’s 11 schools, including Central Elementary, Dennis Chavez Elementary, La Merced Elementary, La Promesa Elementary, Rio Grande Elementary and Infinity High School, received “Ds.”
Even the county’s only charter school, School of Dreams Academy in Los Lunas, got a “D.”
Belen’s Family School was the only school in the entire county to receive an “A.” Those who received a “B” grade were Bosque Farms Elementary, Sundance Elementary, Peralta Elementary, Valencia Elementary, and Belen Middle School.
Those with “C” grades were Tomé Elementary, Katherine Gallegos Elementary, Daniel Fernandez Elementary, Los Lunas Middle School, Valencia Middle School, Los Lunas Family School and Valencia High School; in Belen, Gil Sanchez Elementary, H.T. Jaramillo Community School and Belen High School.
This new grading system the state is now using after receiving a waiver from the Adequate Yearly Progress system has both positives and negatives.
The positive is that our schools are now being graded by us, actually, the New Mexico Public Education Department. The negative is that PED has yet to explain the system to teachers, school districts, parents and even lawmakers.
Los Lunas Superintendent Bernard Saiz, Belen Superintendent Ron Marquez and SODA Principal Mike Ogas all said they wanted and needed more information about how the schools were evaluated. How are they supposed to know what to work on if they don’t know what they’re being graded for?
Teachers give feedback to their students when report cards are handed out. The state should be giving that same feedback when they have questions about their grades.
How can we have school reform if we don’t know what needs to be reformed?