Every spring, the New Mexico Department of Education (NM PED) administers an annual Standards Based Assessment for all students in 3rd - 12th grade. The name of the test in spring of 2019 was Transition Assessment in Math and English Language Arts (TAMELA). TAMELA replaced the PARCC test.
The results of TAMELA were provided to our school at the start of the school year and teachers sent home individual results for students during the first month of school.
Why is this information important? TAMELA scores are the annual measurement of how well students are learning. It's important for teachers and parents to know if their child is reading on grade level and performing math on grade level. If your child is not performing on grade level (proficient) then speak with your child's teacher about the many resources available to students and parents to help your child succeed, academically. Education is an equal partnership between students, parents, and teachers - we all share a responsibility.
2017-18 PARCC DATA
We've received our overall PARCC scores from the 2017-18 school year for students in 3rd through 8th grades last year. Teachers have received individual student scores, which will be provided to parents during Parent-Teacher conferences on October 19 and 22. Parents may also request a copy from their child's teacher before the October conferences.
Why is this information important? The PARCC scores are the annual measurement of how well students are learning. It's important for teachers and parents to know if their child is reading on grade level and performing math on grade level. If your child is not performing on grade level (proficient) then speak with your child's teacher about the many resources available to students and parents to help your child succeed, academically. Education is an equal partnership between students, parents, and teachers - we all share a responsibility.
The following chart shows the percentage of students in 3rd through 8th grades learning at grade level for the last three school years.
24% of students in grades 3rd through 8th are performing math at grade level - 76% of students are not at grade level
37% of students in grades 3rd through 8th are reading at grade level - 63% of students are not at grade level
Parents, please review your individual child's PARCC scores to learn exactly if your child is learning at grade level or not. We'll also provide resources for parents to help their child succeed. More to come on that.
A word about PARCC scores....
There is a lot of mixed information about PARCC scores in the newspaper and political circles that may make parents think, "these scores aren't important."
It's true, politicians use this information to say they will have better results if elected, and newspapers use this information to create scary headlines to help sell newspapers.
With that said, while the PARCC may not be the best test to measure proficiency levels, it is important for teachers and parents to know if their student is learning at the best of their ability. There is no shame in students not performing at grade level, the test results simply tell teachers and parents that students may need a little extra help at school and home or students may have a unrecognized learning difference - all of which can be overcome if teachers and parents work together. Speak with your child's teacher to find out how you can work together for the success of your child.
Through the New Mexico Public Education Department, politicians also assign school grades to our schools. The process of determining school grades is complicated and not transparent, so we're not quite sure how these grades are determined. The intention is to provide a snapshot of how well the entire school is performing for that school year. Over the years, Gonzales has been assigned a B, C, and D, which doesn't really provide an accurate snapshot of the Gonzales school that we know. We know that our school is much more than an arbitrarily assigned letter grade. PARCC scores and NMPED school grades don't measure kindness, work ethic, big ideas, growth mindset, or artistic talent - all of which are just as important as test scores. Our students, staff, teachers, and parents all work hard to make Gonzales a great school. Is there room for improvement? Of course! More to come on that too.
Also, to keep test scores and school grades in perspective, most charter schools and all private schools do not take the PARCC test or get assigned school grades. So using an arbitrary letter grade is not a good measure on the quality of education at Gonzales vs. a charter or private school. As with most things, there's always more to the story and it's impossible to make an equitable comparison between our K-8 school and other K-6 schools. Click to see the results per grade level at Gonzales.
Many students are also very near being proficient. The report you receive with your child’s PARCC scores will show your child’s reading and math scores on a scale, which gives parents and teachers a better understanding of their child’s current levels and how much work needs to be done. Visit understandthescor.org to learn more about what your child’s PARCC means.
Is the PARCC test too hard? No doubt, the PARCC test is challenging. But don't we want our students to be challenged and learning at the best of their ability so they may prosper as adults?
Dr. Garcia and Santa Fe Public Schools have created a new strategic plan to improve proficiency rates. Read the plan. Dr. Flint and Mrs. Chavez will also be addressing proficiency rates at our October and November PTA meetings and soon to be scheduled data nights. Look for dates on the school calendar.
We have a lot of work to do to help our students learn at the best of their ability. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, it's up to the adults to communicate to make sure our children are receiving the best possible education so they may become productive members of our society.
We look forward to seeing parents and families at data nights, science nights, family events and parent-teacher conferences. Look for these events on the school calendar. They will be added as they are scheduled.
It's that time of year again!!!! BIG NEWS! We want to improve on our scores from last year SO we are offering a pizza lunch and afternoon at the park FOR EVERY CLASS THAT HAS 90% PARTICIPATION on our practice tests.
Your student can PARTICIPATE in 1 of 2 ways (or both)
1: START NOW....scroll down and do an online challenge, when you are done take a screen grab and email or text it to your teacher. It will look like this:
2. JOIN US for our PARCC challenge night TUESDAY APRIL 10 in the library from 5:30-7 to practice on the Chrome books AND be entered to win 4 passes to CLIFFS AMUSEMENT PARK!
PAARC testing starts April 16. Please inquire with your child's teacher for a detailed schedule for your child's class.
Students in 3rd-8th grade will take the PARCC test on April 16 through April 26, 2018 (the test is 60 to 90 minutes per day for a total of eight days).
In an effort to get our students ready for PARCC, Mr. Lee is encouraging students to take practice tests as often as possible at home.
It's important to note that although our teachers are teaching the content of the test to our children at school, parents must also help their children prepare for the PARCC test by encouraging them to answer sample questions at home and following the tips listed below. It's equally important for students to know how to navigate the test online and to read all the information as it is to provide the correct answer.
How Parents Can Help
Encourage your children to answer sample questions online as often as possible. The test is easiest to navigate using a computer, rather than a smartphone or tablet, however, any device will work.
Take the sample tests before your child, so you may coach your child on potential pitfalls while taking the test...i.e. not reading the question correctly, not answering completely, clicking the blue arrow to move to the next question before finished answering the current question.
Learn the material in the sample tests and quiz your child during dinner, in the car, before bed, etc. This doesn't have to be an arduous task. It can be fun if you incorporate the questions into everyday life while interacting with your child. Ask them if they see an array in the cupcake pan....ask them to help figure out how many pounds of chicken you need to feed a family of four....you get the idea...the possibilities are endless!
Reassure your child that they are good learners and not to fear the PARCC test. Our children follow our example more than anything else they see and hear. If we believe they will do well on the PARCC, then they will believe that they will do well on the PARCC test.
Remind ourselves and our children that test performance is not everything. Is it important? Yes, but the actual learning and preparing for life is the most important thing - that includes confidence in themselves.
Tips for Taking the Sample Test
Take your time.
Read and understand the complete question.
Re-read the question and your answer before clicking the blue arrow to move onto the next question.
Practice highlighting, copying and pasting with the mouse.
Review the questions you got wrong and ask for help if you don't understand why it's wrong. The review button is on the top right of the screen.
Take the Sample Tests
Click the links below, choose your grade level on the next screen, then then choose a "computer-based unit".
Enter your name.
Answer the questions by following the tips listed above.