Achievement Assessment Information and Results

Students sitting at computersChanges Coming to Annual Achievement Assessments for New Mexico Schools

Watch this space for ongoing updates as information becomes available

January 14, 2019

On January 3, 2019, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham announced that New Mexico would no longer be using PARCC. We anticipated this change as most of the original PARCC consortium states are no longer using the exam.

This spring, as the Public Education Department (PED) begins the process of transitioning away from PARCC testing and adopting new ratings and assessments, school districts in New Mexico will administer the New Mexico Standards Based Assessment of Mathematics and English Language Arts in place of PARCC.

We want to assure our parents that this transition assessment, which will be administered during the April 22-May 10 scheduled testing window, is aligned to our curriculum and standards and remains rigorous. It will utilize the same online testing system that students are familiar with and will be 30% shorter.  In addition, it will use the same scale to measure student performance and will allow districts to compare results with previous year’s results.

We look forward to working collaboratively with the PED as they identify a replacement assessment that continues to measure student understanding and improve instruction. Please watch this page for additional updates as more information becomes available.

About Achievement TestingStudents testing

Lile all achievement tests, the New Mexico Standards-Based Assessment of Mathematics and English Language Arts will be designed to determine students' knowledge of material they learn in the classroom throughout the year. This material, called "standards," simply defines what your child should learn at each grade level.  Most states throughout the country, including New Mexico, have adopted the Common Core State Standards.  These standards were developed by educators, content-area experts, and business leaders throughout the country to provide some consistency in what students should know and be expected to do regardless of where they live.

Some facts about standards-based testing in New Mexico

Students are expected to do more than answer questions. They are required to explain how they arrived at the answers. For example, in reading, they must justify their answer by citing specific passages within the text. In math, they not only must give the answer to a problem, but explain how they arrived at the answer and apply that information to solving further problems. Students also have time limits (60-90 minutes, depending on the grade level and unit) in which to complete portions of the test.

Students in grades 3-11 take the test online. 
In order to demonstrate what they know, students need good keyboarding skills to be able to type responses to questions without first writing them down, to use a mouse, to be able to select, drag, and drop objects and text, highlight text, and use a calculator and equation builder on the computer.

Do standards-based test results affect promotion or graduation?

The results from the New Mexico Standards-Based Assessments are not included in a student's classroom grade, and New Mexico does not require that students achieve a particular score in order to be promoted to the next grade level. However, it is possible that a student's scale score could be one of many measures used by the parent and school staff members to determine appropriate grade level or instructional placement.

Scores on standards-based assessments can affect graduation. The state requires that students pass a "high school competency exam" in order to earn a diploma. The standards-based assessment currently doubles as the competency exam for reading, writing, and mathematics. A passing score on the English 11 test and on either the Geometry or Algebra II tests meet the graduation testing requirement. 
StudeDiploma and Graduation Hatsnts will have more than one chance to pass the tests. Once a student has exhausted the opportunities to achieve a passing score on the standards-based assessments, alternative means of demonstrating competency can be considered to qualify a student for graduation. 

Man helping student

How can I help my student prepare for testing?
See the column at right for some great resources you can use!

Get your kids on the computer! Have them practice typing, selecting text, dragging and dropping, using a mouse, and using an online calculator. Click here for links to FREE websites you can use to help your child acquire good keyboarding skills so they are able to easily demonstrate what they know when they take the tests.

Ask questions when helping your student with homework. Instead of simply helping your child with questions or problems, go deeper! For example, ask your children questions about what they have read, and then ask them to point out something in the text that supports their answer. Or in math, ask them to describe how they arrived at an answer, or better yet, to write it down.