Farmington Newspaper Digs a Helpful Bit Deeper with PARCC Scores

Kudos to Farmington Daily Times reporter Mike Easterling for his story on PARCC scores in the Four Corners area.

Mr. Easterling goes beyond the NMPED-fed simplicity shown, so far, in Albuquerque Journal reports on scores, adding context to explain how Farmington schools are improving in this regard, and using quotes from school officials there and in surrounding communities to further explain both the scores and how schools are responding to what they mean.

My favorite section of the piece:

Bloomfield School District Superintendent Kim Mizell, for instance, found a lot to be encouraged about in the performance of her students even though the district’s overall proficiency numbers continue to lag.

“I want to say we have made progress and growth with groups of students,” she said. “The challenge in Bloomfield is improving on the proficiency rate.”

A great many Bloomfield students improved from Level 2 to Level 3 this year, she noted, leaving them just shy of the Level 4 that would lead them to be counted as proficient. She fears some observers will only examine Bloomfield’s overall proficiency and assume the district is not making substantial progress when she believes it is.

“We’re seeing the growth and movement, but we’re not yet seeing the proficiency,” she said.

Mizell was especially happy with the showing the district’s junior high students made, but she was dismayed at the district’s mediocre scores on the algebra 2 test and said she didn’t believe they were indicative of the level at which her students are actually performing in that discipline.

Great Pulitzer’s Ghost! If the above appeared in the Albuquerque Journal and/or came out of the mouth of Albuquerque Public Schools’ Superintendent Raquel Reedy, I’d eat my standardized testing hat. Ms. Reedy could really benefit from studying Mizell’s quotes here. Really.

Kudos to Easterling and Mizell, but it’s also true that passing along a bit more info and analysis about the scores isn’t that hard and doesn’t require 50,000 word pieces with, for instance, detailed analysis from the number glut that is the online NMPED PARCC score spreadsheet.

That said, it’s a damn sight better than we’re getting at the “paper of record” in ABQ. Thanks, Mr. Easterling. Keep up the good work.

farmingtonP.S.: That’s not NMPED Acting Secretary¬†Christopher Ruszkowski pictured, and the headline is a bit misleading in terms of “touting” dominating the piece.

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