New Mexico identifies two more schools for “More Rigorous Intervention”
Under the state’s top-rated, federally-approved education plan, MRI designation makes schools eligible for multi-million dollar package aimed at state’s most chronically struggling schools
Santa Fe – Today, The New Mexico Public Education Department announced that two more schools have been identified as in need of More Rigorous Intervention (MRI). R. Sarracino Middle School in the Socorro Independent School District and Questa Jr. High School in the Questa Independent School District both earned their fifth “F” grade in a row following the 2017-18 school year.
Four schools were identified in December 2017: Hawthorne Elementary and Whittier Elementary in Albuquerque Public Schools that had each earned six continuous “F” grades since 2012. Los Padillas Elementary (also in APS) and Dulce Elementary in Dulce Public Schools had each earned five continuous “F” grades since 2013.
Since the identification of these schools Los Padillas and Hawthorne have both earned “C” grades and demonstrated marked improvement. Dulce Elementary and Whittier Elementary each earned another “F”. Per their signed MRI agreements, each school is one “F” grade away from closure if they do not improve in the 2018-19 school year.
“The State of New Mexico has a moral responsibility to intervene when an entire generation of students has been underserved by their local school—to provide additional resources, additional oversight and additional accountability so that the pattern of underperformance does not continue for our kids,” said Secretary Christopher Ruszkowski. “Since intervening in Albuquerque, two schools have made notable academic progress, because they were given greater and more targeted attention and because they learned from best practices across the state. School turnaround is possible—and we know that Questa and Socorro now have the opportunity to embrace change and join the scores of schools that are on the rise across New Mexico. There is no time to lose.”
New Mexico’s State Plan under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) is widely regarded as one of the best in the nation, generating accolades from the Collaborative for Student Success, Results for America, the Alliance for Excellence in Education, and the Data Quality Campaign. New Mexico submitted its plan in the first round in April 2017 after significant stakeholder engagement, and was one of the first three plans in the country to garner federal approval.
In January, district leadership in both Questa and Socorro will receive more information, the opportunity to select from one of four state-developed, federally-approved models, and will have the opportunity to apply for funding to implement a plan. Districts with schools in this category have four options to choose from in order to substantially change outcomes for students: close for good, restart as a charter school, promote neighboring schools that might be a better fit for students and families, or significantly restructure and redesign the school.
Under ESSA, New Mexico is required to identify three different categories of schools: Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI), Targeted Support and Improvement (TSI), and chronically-failing schools that have been identified for More Rigorous Interventions (MRI). Each category comes with different specific federally required conditions.