PARCC Score Release & What to Expect

Important information about PARCC scores…

PARCC Score Release & What to Expect

Dear Parent/Guardian,

Later this fall, you’ll receive your child’s results from last school year’s PARCC test, New Mexico’s new annual assessment in English Language Arts (ELA) and math. The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) is a group of states, including New Mexico, which brought educators and other experts together to develop tests aligned to higher standards, and provide a deeper level of information to teachers and parents to support students. This assessment will be an important tool for you and educators to use to ensure your child is on track for success, and this letter and guide is intended to give you a better idea of what to expect.

PARCC replaces New Mexico’s previous annual test, the Standards Based Assessment (SBA), and is based on the higher standards that your children are being taught in the classroom, which prepare them for success in today’s world. The test moves away from fill-in-the bubble questions and requires students to read complex text, develop well-organized written responses, answer real-world math problems, and describe and defend their reasoning. PARCC test scores are just one measure that can be used to give you and teachers a more accurate picture of your child’s academic progress.

We expect that you will receive your child’s score report in the fall, later than usual, but the goal for future years is to have results available before the beginning of the school year. Individual student scores are broken down into different categories in both ELA and math. This helps you and your child’s teachers understand specific areas where your child is doing well and where he or she needs more help.

You may notice that your child’s scores—and scores for your school and district—are lower than you’ve seen on the SBA in past years. This doesn’t mean that your child or your school took a step backward this year. Instead, it reflects the fact that the PARCC test measures more complex, real-world skills, and is more challenging than SBA. PARCC is establishing a new, more accurate baseline from which progress can be measured moving forward. Because PARCC is so much different than the SBA, PARCC scores should not be directly compared to SBA scores.

We expect New Mexico’s scores to improve over time as teachers and students become more familiar with the state academic standards and the PARCC assessment, but our students and teachers have shown that they can rise to the challenge.

We appreciate your patience this year as we transition to a set of standards and a test that will put our students on track to ensure they are prepared to achieve their full potential. Ahead of statewide, districtwide, and individual score reports, you can visit for more information about PARCC, how it will be used, and how to support your child.

Thank you.



What is PARCC?

PARCC is a new, more challenging assessment that replaced the SBA, our former statewide test. PARCC tests math and English Language Arts (ELA) and was administered to 3rd–11th grade New Mexico public school students for the first time in the Spring of 2015.


Why did New Mexico switch to PARCC?

In 2010, New Mexico raised the academic bar and adopted new state standards for ELA and math, known as the New Mexico Common Core State Standards. PARCC is based on those new standards and is the first statewide test in New Mexico to measure how well our students are learning these higher standards. While the new standards are more challenging, the intention is to ensure that our kids graduate with the skills and knowledge they need to be successful in today’s world.


When can I expect to receive PARCC scores?

Your child’s scores will be provided to districts as outlined below:

State and district results available Student score reports available to districts*
High School Results October 16 November 2
Elementary and Middle School Results October 30 December 1
*Distribution method and schedule will be determined by each school district


Why is PARCC valuable?

For Students:PARCC scores will be used to better tailor instruction to individual student needs. PARCC results will also help students know how well their school is doing to prepare them for success in today’s world. For high school seniors, a passing PARCC score demonstrates readiness for graduation

For parents: PARCC scores can be used by parents to identify areas of improvement for their child and inform conversations with teachers regarding meeting their child’s needs both in the classroom and at home. The scores will also be used in calculating school grades, which provide parents with an indicator of school effectiveness.

For teachers: PARCC scores will help educators tailor instruction to individual student needs and measure how well students are performing using the higher standards. Teachers will also be able to use PARCC scores to identify areas for personal growth and improvement.


PARCC Testing

I have received a few calls from parents concerned about PARCC testing and the choice to opt out.  PAPA’s stand on this issue is clear that there will be no opting out of the test.  Taking required State and Federally mandated tests is the law.  PAPA will follow this law.

That being said, I would like to clarify the reasons behind our stand:

  • PARCC is simply the required test that is replacing the NM Standards-Based Assessment (NMSBA) that was taken over the past several years.
  • The test is a reflection of the Common Core Standards teachers have been working diligently to implement over the past few years.  We need this baseline data from all students to gauge our curriculum effectiveness.
  • We use the data to assess individual skills (strengths, weaknesses, gaps, etc.).  It helps us when individualizing student education plans and drives teacher instructional plans.
  • Opting out of the testing is like telling students it is OK to avoid what “may” be difficult in life.  Testing is a common necessity in the professional world.  For example, high school students will take the ACT and/or the SAT for college placement and scholarships.  In addition to an education degree, I had to take the National Teacher Exam to become a teacher.  Another standardized test is a requirement of becoming an educational administrator.  Many, many jobs require testing.
  • Our students are here for the performing arts and rigorous academics.  In the performing arts, students practice to perform.  The PARCC test is their academic performance.
  • Students must participate in all PARCC attempts before using the alternative demonstration of competency to receive a high school diploma.  Otherwise, students receive a certificate of completion which can affect their ability to enter certain colleges or earn scholarships.

I don’t believe the “test” is the issue.  I believe that issues surrounding the test are like a bunch of huge snowballs rolling recklessly down the hill, increasing in momentum as we get closer to the test date….Here’s why I believe this is happening.  Here are some of the issues:

  • PARCC results effect the overall school grade on the annual School Grade Report.
  • Participation in PARCC also directly effects each school’s grade on the annual School Grade Report.
  • PARCC results will be tied to teacher evaluation (50% of a teacher’s evaluation), which is now connected to the ability to renew a license.
  • The cost of implementing the technology just to administer the test has been astronomical.
  • Testing interferes with instructional time!

These are all legitimate issues.  If one wants to resolve the issues, there are more productive means of social change than protest and refusal.  Instead of negatively impacting your children and their school:

  • Write a letter or e-mail to your legislator or other elected official;
  • Register to vote and exercise that right;
  • Organize a petition drive;
  • Write a letter to Secretary Hannah Skandera;
  • Create a piece of art to express your concerns…

We’re willing to swim upstream at PAPA when it comes to challenges in education.  PARCC is a challenge!  We’ve never seen the test.  It tests new standards.  We may have a disaster with the technology.  It is timed, which was not true of the NMSBA.  The entire PAPA staff is not going to support any opting out or walk-outs.  PAPA staff is committed to making this as painless as possible for students.  We want students to simply do their best with no fear of failure.  We have worked hard in preparation for staff and students, so we’ll let the chips fall where they may!  Please minimize the controversy at home, decreasing your children’s stress over testing and increasing their chances of success.

Our hope is that you understand our position and respect the necessity to test.  If you choose to keep your children at home, the absences will be unexcused.  Your children will surpass the 10 day rule which will put them in danger of losing high school credits.  Any walking out will be considered a disruption of the education process at PAPA and be treated as a discipline issue.

I am thankful every day that I get to work in this community – at this wonderful school! Thanks to the rights of parents to choose schools, our parents chose PAPA for their children’s education.  With that choice comes responsibility.  At PAPA, we follow the law.  If you chose to have your child attend PAPA, you chose to test.

Doreen A. Winn
Executive Director
Public Academy for Performing Arts



PAPA Graduation Rate

The graduation rate system measures the percentage of students that begin as a freshman and graduate four years later. PAPA’s Graduation Rate is measured according to the amount of time graduates and/or drop-outs attend PAPA over a four year period.  The four year period is divided into quarters equaling 16 quarters.  If a student attends PAPA for 1 quarter of a year and then graduates from another school, PAPA gets 1/16 of the credit for that student graduating.  Conversely, if a student attends PAPA for one quarter of a year, moves to another school, and then drops out, PAPA loses 1/16 of the credit because that student dropped out.  If a student moves back and forth between 2 or more schools, PAPA gets credit for the total number of quarters spent at PAPA.

That being said, PAPA’s Graduation Rate was 87.5 up 4 points from last year.

Inclement Weather

I’ve been asked to clarify the PAPA policy on school cancellation due to inclement weather.

If APS is cancelled or delayed, PAPA will not have school.

If Manzano and the east mountain schools are cancelled, but not the rest of the APS district, PAPA will have school.  However, it is up to parent discretion for students living in the east mountains or near Manzano.  The absence will be excused.

If the district where a child lives has a delay or cancellation (ie. Rio Rancho), but APS is in session, PAPA will have school.  Parent discretion is used to determine if the child can safely attend school that day.  The absence will be excused.

As in any excused absence, it is the responsibility of the student to make up the work missed.


Doreen A. Winn
Executive Director
Public Academy for Performing Arts
3000 Adams St., NE
Albuquerque, NM  87110
Phone:  830-3128
Fax:  830-9930

You’re Invited!

PAPA Administration/Faculty/Staff/Parents,

The Governing Council would like to extend a special invitation to each of you to attend your Public Academy for Performing Arts council meetings.  Our regular meeting schedule is:

Name:     PAPA Governing Council

Date:       Last Tuesday of Every Month

Time:       3:30 – 5:30 p.m.

Location:  Portable 2, PAPA Campus

As public officials, council members are representatives of the people of the school.  Our decisions are based on the needs of all the people and the overall educational interests of our students.  Problems are not decided on the basis of geographic divisions, personal interests, special interest groups, political expediency, or bias or prejudice for or against individuals or groups.  As Governing Council members, we are charged with seeing that the school is well-managed, tax dollars are wisely spent, and the investment and interests of the public are protected.  Council members are obligated to maintain fair and equitable employment practices for all employees in keeping with local, state and federal law, to seek their professional advice and judgment, to support and provide for their needs, and to promote good relationships and morale among the staff.  Council members have an obligation to support a structure that provides valuable learning experiences for all students, strives to meet the unique and separate needs of individuals, and recognizes and protects the rights and responsibilities of these young citizens.

Each of you is integral in ensuring the Governing Council achieves these goals.  Please accept this as a standing invitation to attend and contribute to our meetings.

We will see you there!

Mark A. Padilla
President, PAPA Governing Council

New Mexico Academy of Science Outstanding Science Teacher Award

Ms Lindsay Henson has won this year’s New Mexico Academy of Science (NMAS) Outstanding Science Teacher (OSTA) award.  This award is given each year to elementary, middle, and/or high school science teachers in New Mexico who have gone above and beyond the call in teaching science to their students. Her nomination was submitted by Bloom Beloved and supported unanimously by the NMAS OSTA committee.

Ms Henson’s award will to presented at this year’s November 1st at the annual meeting of the NMAS.

Congratulations Ms Henson!