Grade jumps from C to B

By Eric Norwood Jr.

PNT staff writer

enorwood@pntonline.com

The New Mexico Public Education Department’s grading Thursday of Portales schools was a mix of highs and lows. 7-12-RC-report-card

Portales High School’s overall grade jumped from last year’s C to a B this year. The school scored an A in college and career readiness, indicating PHS graduates are beyond the state average in future preparedness.

PHS also got a perfect score in the student growth of highest performing students section. The top 75 percent of students showed exponential growth in their academic development.

There were also two distinct trends in the grades for all schools as well. All schools in Portales scored either an A or B in the opportunity to learn (OTL) category, which grades schools on their ability to foster an environment that facilitates learning, student attendance and teacher instructional methods.

However, all Portales schools have been faltering in the independent student growth of those who rank in the bottom percentage of their school.

Students who are already behind aren’t showing enough growth according to the state average and every school in Portales Municipal Schools scored either a D or F in this area.

“We bend over backwards working for that group,” said Interim Superintendent David Van Wettering.

“We have tutoring, summer school, remediation and we put more effort into that group than all other 75 percent combined. We will continue to do so.”

The grade levels hardest hit in Portales are 5-8, which are Lindsey-Steiner Elementary and Portales Junior High.

According to the grades, both schools are slightly below the state average for mathematics, as far as number of students who are proficient or above. Only 37 percent of students at Lindsey-Steiner and PJHS are proficient or above in mathematics.

“We’re going to take a look at those two schools and do a self-study,” said Van Wettering.

Lindsey-Steiner principal Rick Segovia, and Portales Junior High School principal Steve Harris did not respond requests for comment.

Grades 3-4 and 10-11 all scored higher than the state average for math proficiency. According to Van Wettering, there will be a renewed focus on mathematics for the upcoming school year.

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