New Mexico does not explicitly incorporate subgroup performance in its accountability ratings calculations.
The state’s inclusion of student growth for the bottom quartile of students in each school may help capture these students, but without additional data, it’s impossible to know if a school could have a low-performing subgroup and still receive a high letter grade.
The state’s plan for defining chronic underperformance of student subgroups could be promising.
New Mexico plans to identify the students-with-disabilities group in a particular school as consistently underperforming if it trails students without disabilities by 40 percent in reading and math proficiency. The plan also does not give a rationale for the 40 percent threshold or an estimate of how many schools this approach might capture.
The plan has similar definitions for English learners, economically disadvantaged students, Native American students, black students, and Hispanic students, but sets different thresholds for different subgroups, which could send the wrong signal that low performance is sufficient for some groups, but unacceptable for others. On the other hand, the state’s proposed minimum subgroup size of 10 students is strong and will ensure that schools adequately capture low-performing groups.
New Mexico also deserves credit for including a timeline for eliminating opportunity gaps for students with disabilities being served by ineffective teachers.