New Mexico Secretary of Education discusses education reform plan


New Mexico’s newly appointed Education Secretary laid out her plans Friday.

In one of her first actions as governor, Michelle Lujan Grisham threw out PARCC testing.

“I know there were cheers across the state, ‘Yay, we don’t have to take a test anymore,'” said Karen Trujillo, the new Secretary of Public Education. 

The new Secretary of Public Education, Karen Trujillo, said just because the PARCC test is being replaced, doesn’t mean high standards for students go away. 

“We still have high expectations of our students and our teachers,” said Trujillo. 

Trujillo said the Public Education Department’s goal is to create a test that is more reflective of New Mexican culture. 

“We don’t want a test that’s coming from somewhere else that is not reflective of the needs we have,” said Trujillo. 

She said a culturally relevant test will provide more accurate results and should be ready to go by this August. 

“If you don’t understand the vocabulary in your assessment because it’s not part of your cultural background, that’s an unfair assessment,” said Trujillo. 

Along with the transition away from PARCC testing, she said the administration is focused on overhauling the A to F school-grading system, replacing it with what they’re calling “Dashboard.” The new process will focus on both the strengths and weaknesses of every school. 

“It’s also about identifying, what are our concerns? How can we do better? So that when we come in as the PED we can say, what can we do to support them?” said Trujillo.

There’s been a lot of talk about the current teacher evaluation system and how teachers don’t think it’s fair. The secretary said she wants to create a system where educators feel they’re supported and not being punished, but didn’t go into specifics. 

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