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Posted December 5, 2017

Improving Schools under the Every Student Succeeds Act

In a message to the APS community, Supt. Reedy describes how some schools are subject to more rigorous intervention.

Dear APS Community,

Albuquerque Public Schools is committed to making sure our students get the best education possible. We want them to graduate from high school and go on to be successful in college, trade school, the military, the workplace and life. In order to reach this desired level of success for all of our students, we sometimes have to make adjustments to the way we approach teaching and learning.

That is exactly what is happening now at some of our schools.

Under the federal law known as the Every Student Succeeds Act or ESSA, schools that have consistently received failing grades by the New Mexico Public Education Department based on such criteria as test scores, quality of education surveys and attendance are subject to more rigorous intervention. A handful of APS schools fall into this category. These schools face four options:

  • Significantly change the way the school runs (often referred to as a school redesign)
  • Convert into a charter school
  • Turn into a magnet school or  
  • Close.

While we hesitate to mention that final option because it can create fear and panic among our students, families and staff, we feel it is important to be as forthcoming as possible.

These few schools deemed by the state Public Education Department as in need of More Rigorous Intervention will spend the next few weeks seeking input from their community as they determine the best option for them. They will then develop a detailed plan of action for implementing change, which will be presented to the state by the end of the school year. If approved, the new plan will go into effect in the 2018-19 school year.  

We promise that this will be a transparent process involving all stakeholders so that when school starts next fall, you’ll know what to expect. No surprises.   

Other schools in the district have been identified by the state as in need of Comprehensive Support and Improvement. These schools will be looking at ways to make significant changes to their educational approach so that students are more successful.

And even more of our schools labeled by the state as needing Targeted Support and Improvement will work on ways to close the achievement gap and improve student progress.

Bottom line – all of our schools are working to improve, but some need more rigorous intervention and support, and we are committed to providing whatever they need so that they can do what is best for their students. You play a role in this process as well by staying informed, providing input, asking questions and expressing concerns.

Whether your school is labeled MRI, CSI, TSI or another acronym, what matters most is that we work together as a community to improve the academic success of all of our students.  

Sincerely,

Raquel Reedy, APS Superintendent

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