Personal tools

Superintendent's News

Posted: January 13, 2023

A Road Map for a Brighter Future for Our Students

In his weekly message, Superintendent Scott Elder discusses new goals focused on student outcomes.

In November and December, members of our school board hosted community conversations at schools around the city to get input on what students should know and be able to do when they leave Albuquerque Public Schools. Between those in-person forums and an online survey, we heard from 2,024 individuals.

I’ve already relayed many of the responses we received, including the desire that students be able to read, write and communicate and that students leave APS with confidence, empathy and skills in time and self-management.

I heard you. Board members heard you. And we used what you told us to develop goals for the next five years. It’s a work in progress, but the student outcome goals we hammered out at a marathon Board of Education meeting Wednesday night are:

  • Increase by at least 10 percentage points over the next five years the proficiency scores of Yazzie-Martinez and Black third graders in English and language arts, as measured by the New Mexico Measures of Student Success and Achievement. Yazzie-Martinez refers to the 2018 court ruling that New Mexico isn’t doing enough to provide a sufficient education to at risk students, including Native Americans, English learners, socioeconomically disadvantaged children and students with disabilities. We’re focusing on third grade students because that’s a pivotal age for literacy and sets the stage for future success in the classroom.

  • Increase by at least 10 percentage points over the next five years the proficiency scores of Yazzie-Martinez and Black eighth-grade students in mathematics, as measured by the New Mexico Measures of Student Success and Achievement. Improving eighth grade math proficiency scores will help students succeed in high school.

  •  Increase the percentage of high school students who earn credit in a minimum of two sequential courses in a non‐core subject. This goal is aimed at ensuring that students have a leg up when they leave high school, whether they’re planning to go to college or enter the workforce right away. Non-core subjects envisioned here include career and technical education, dual credit, foreign language, and fine arts and visual arts sequences.

The Board of Education is planning to vote on these goals at Wednesday’s board meeting.

Board members also made clear that they want a goal tied to school climate and social-emotional learning skills. We are working on that one and will let you know what we come up with. The board would likely vote on that goal at its Jan. 25 meeting.

We’re working hard to shape these goals to reflect the vision and values community members expressed to us. It’s worth noting that the setting of goals, while vital, is just the beginning of the process. We still need to finish the strategic plan and align our resources and budget with it.

This is going to take time. The important thing is that we continue to focus on our primary mission: educating kids.

Finally, as we head into the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, I’d like to take a moment to reflect on the civil rights leader who changed the world. Dr. King received the Nobel Prize in 1964 for his work fighting for equal rights for Black Americans. He was committed to nonviolence, and his amazing speeches called on the world to be better.

“Everyone has the power for greatness, not for fame but greatness, because greatness is determined by service,” he said. I thank you for your service to our students and to our community.

Enjoy your three-day weekend.