Las Cruces Public Schools see mixed results in A-F grades

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - The grades are in for New Mexico public schools for the 2012-2013 school year.

Overall, Las Cruces Public Schools Superintendent Stan Rounds called the results "good news."

Last year, 62 percent of schools in the district had D and F grades. That number improved to 17 percent.

"We did bring in a lot of attention into developing language arts and reading strategies at the high school and middle school level over the last year or two," Rounds said.

All four major high schools got B grades this year. That's an improvement from the C grades they got last year.

Elementary schools didn't fare so well. Jornada Elementary was the only school in the district to get an F. A majority of the other elementary schools got C and D grades.

Rounds attributed that to a change in the standardized testing.

Across the district, a majority of schools got C grades.

The state takes several factors into account when calculating the grades. They include academic growth of the lowest- and highest-achieving students, college and career readiness and parent involvement.

Parents told ABC-7 they're more concerned with how their children are doing.

"It is interesting to see how the different schools are graded. It is important but at the same time I don't think a test score shows how a child is doing," Angela Lowery said.

"I don't really understand it. To me it's not that important. I don't know. It's good they make changes based on it but it doesn't matter to me. I'm not going to change schools because of anything like that," said Las Cruces parent Trish Cullen.

Rounds said the district uses the grades to improve the way they teach.

"We've got data. 'Oh gosh our grades are down. Our scores are down.' We wring our hands about it. What the turnaround program does is dive deeply into the data and understand what is happening and why it's happening," Rounds said.

For a list of the school grades throughout New Mexico and a breakdown of how schools fared, click here.

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