NM education secretary praises Alamogordo PARCC results


Tara Melton, Alamogordo Daily News
Published 6:58 p.m. MT July 28, 2017

ALAMOGORDO — Alamogordo Public Schools is being hailed as a district on the rise after the newly-released 2017 Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) results show much improvement.

“Alamogordo is one of many districts around the state that’s on the rise,” said Acting Secretary of Education Christopher Ruszkowski. “When districts like Alamogordo, Gallup, Roswell and Farmington are on the rise, that puts our state as a whole on the rise.”

Ruszkowski, who stepped into his role in June after former Education Secretary Hanna Skandera left, said he’s saw outstanding instruction, classroom management and coaching while visiting the district a couple weeks ago.

“So many practices that are in place in Alamogordo are the result of a deep partnership between the Public Education Department and the Alamogordo Public Schools, we’re incredibly proud of that partnership,” Ruszkowski said. “When you take a school like Oregon Elementary, that has been apart of both our Principals Pursuing Excellence program and our Teachers Pursuing Excellence program – two programs over the course of four years – and you see that school up almost nine points in math and eight points in reading since 2015… this is one of the reasons the Alamogordo Public Schools is so far above the state average.” 

As a whole, APS now has a 36 percent proficiency in reading, comparatively higher than the state’s average of 29 percent. APS is also 27 percent proficient in math, also higher than the state’s average of 20 percent. 

“When you look at the growth over the last two years, Alamogordo is up about five points in reading and 3.5 points in math – both double and triple the state average,” Ruszkowski said. “I know Alamogordo is a growing community, it’s a place a lot of families are relocating to (Holloman Air Force) Base. Those parents and families relocating to Alamogordo can have a lot of faith that they’re coming to a district that’s truly on the rise. PED is incredibly proud of the work that’s happening down there.” 

APS Superintendent Adrianne Salas credits the district’s progress to the hard work put in by APS principals and teachers to ensure Alamogordo’s students are receiving a quality education. 

Points of pride include Holloman Middle School, who scored in the top 10 percent of schools around the state in English Language Arts proficiency. Yucca Elementary scored in the top 10 percent of schools statewide in terms of growth on a yearly basis. Holloman Elementary scored in the top 10 percent for growth in math and English Language Arts. 

“We’re above the state average and slightly below the cross-state average, meaning of the eight other states that participate in PARCC we’re compared to them as well,” said Director of Curriculum and Instruction Michelle Perry. “We’re in the game, we’re right there with the other participating states. That means if you move to Colorado or New Mexico, you’re getting a quality education comparatively in Alamogordo.” 

For more information or to see a breakdown of each school’s PARCC scores, visit the New Mexico Public Education Department’s website at www.ped.state.nm.us.

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