New Mexico ranked 5th for math standards

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By Special to the Monitor

Santa Fe – In an early journal article release, Education Next (Vol.10, No. 4) New Mexico ranked fifth nationally for the strength of math proficiency standards in a state-to-state comparison of where states have set the bar for student proficiency.

“State standards rising in reading but not in math,” investigates Education Secretary Arne Duncan’s claims that No Child Left Behind incentivized states to set performance standards low to improve test scores and to avoid sanctions associated with low-performing schools.

 “I am proud that New Mexico has insisted on setting the bar high and holding our students to high standards. This will make our transition to common internationally bench

marked standards and assessments much smoother. When students score proficient in New Mexico, we know that they will be nationally and internationally competitive,” said New Mexico Education Secretary Veronica C. García.

The article states that despite the incentive to lower expectations, five states earned an A overall for setting standards at or close to world-class level in math and reading: New Mexico, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Missouri and Washington. Education Next used information from the 2009 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) to evaluate proficiency standards established by individual states and graded states on the expected standard for performance, not actual proficiency.

 Additionally, the article focuses on the two national Race to the Top grant winners.

Tennessee received an F with the lowest standards of all states, in that position since 2003.

According to Tennessee, the state claimed in 2009 that over 90 percent of its 4th-grade students were proficient in math, yet on NAEP tests only 28 percent were proficient. Delaware, ranked 36th of the 50 states and states that 81 percent of its students were proficient in 8th grade, but on NAEP only 31 percent score proficient.

 The full article to be released in the fall journal Education Next (Vol.10, No. 4) is available in early release at the following link: http://educationnext.org/state-standards-rising-in-reading-but-not-math/