Salute to PAPA Graduates!
Hispanic student graduation rate up significantly under Governor Martinez’s leadership
Overall Graduation Rate remains at an all-time high
SANTA FE, NM – Today, Governor Susana Martinez announced that the state’s high school graduation rate remains at an all-time high— 71.1 percent—a feat achieved over the past seven years while New Mexico has continued to raise the bar for academic proficiency. The state’s Hispanic student graduation rate is up significantly during that same period.
Hispanic students comprise of more than 60% of the state’s student population.
Since 2011, graduation rates have improved significantly for the state’s Hispanic, African-American, disabled and low-income students. In 2011, 59.3% of Hispanic students graduated high school in four years—that number has risen to 70.5% over the past seven years. The graduation rate for students with disabilities has increased 14.5 percentage points during that time, and the graduation rate for African-American students has grown by 7.8 percentage points. And low-income students are also graduating at 10 percentage points higher than they were in 2011.
“New Mexico’s students continue to show that when we hold them to high standards, they rise to the occasion,” Governor Susana Martinez said. “Through a relentless commitment to improving education by focusing on lifting up struggling students and schools, more New Mexicans are graduating from high school than ever before. This is important progress for our kids, and shows how important it is that we remain committed to meaningful reform – so that every kid, no matter their background, has a chance to succeed in life.”
The state’s Hispanic student graduation rate is notable not only because of the proportion of students that identify as such, but also because the statewide rate is now nearing the overall statewide rate. And many schools are leading this charge: Centennial High School in Las Cruces has an 84% Hispanic graduation rate—approximately 70% of the students that attend the school are Hispanic. Alta Vista Early College High School in Gadsden, which has an almost 100% Hispanic student population, saw 96% of their Hispanic students earn a diploma last year. Taos Academy Charter has a graduation rate of 91% for their Hispanic students, and the Public Academy for Performing Arts Charter in Albuquerque (home of the 2018 NM Teacher of the Year) had a Hispanic graduation rate of 95%.
“I applaud New Mexico’s success in increasing the high school graduation rate for all students, including those who have historically been underserved,” said Bob Wise, president of the national Alliance for Excellent Education. “But New Mexico isn’t stopping there – the state’s commitment to ensuring its students are ready for postsecondary education after high school is vital. A high school diploma is important, but it must mean something. That’s why New Mexico is working to strengthen its requirements for high school graduation and has set a “Route to 66” goal: that 66 percent of New Mexicans will have a college degree or postsecondary credential by 2030. I appreciate New Mexico’s leadership in supporting the success of its students in high school and beyond.”
Governor Martinez continues to push the state forward and keep the graduation rate rising, her administration has invested $400 million more into New Mexico’s classrooms. Those investments include a guarantee that low-income students don’t have to pay more than $3.00 for an AP test.
Another proven program, Truancy and Dropout Prevention Coaches, is aimed at keeping more students in school by hiring nearly sixty coaches in schools across New Mexico during the 2017-18 school year. These coaches are placed in 31 districts and charter schools across the state to keep kids in school, reduce truancy, and help more students graduate on-time.
In addition, the PED has provided training to more than 50 schools over the past four school years to implement an Early Warning System, a program that monitors students’ academic, disciplinary, and attendance history to see where a student may need special attention. The program raises “flags” if a student’s attendance or grades begin to drift downward. This information is designed to give schools the insight to intervene with students early to address any potential issues. School teams use the data to identify appropriate interventions based upon that student’s specific situation.
“New Mexico will continue to set high academic expectations for all students—and our teachers, schools, families, and students will continue to rise to the challenge,” said Education Secretary Christopher Ruszkowski. “Our students from all backgrounds and zip codes are proving that demographics need not determine our students’ futures. New Mexico’s students today are more prepared than ever before to contribute to the state’s economic progress and vitality.”
Full graduation rate data by district and school for the class of 2016-2017 can be found online here: http://ped.state.nm.us/ped/Graduation_data.html.