New Mexico has a strong vision: 66 percent of its working-age adults will have a college degree or post-secondary credential by the year 2030.
Accordingly, the state has set strong goals for academic proficiency, high school graduation rates, and post-secondary remediation. The plan sets ambitious goals for subgroups of students, including English language learners, and students with disabilities.
In particular, New Mexico should be commended for setting a postsecondary remediation goal. This is a strong indicator for ensuring cross-system alignment, and one of vast importance to both students and the state.
Although New Mexico is in the midst of adopting a new assessment of English language proficiency, it aims to achieve increases of 2 percentage points a year.
It provides data showing this would be an ambitious, but reasonable, target based on its past performance. Similarly, New Mexico’s expected graduation rate improvement appears ambitious and achievable based on recent state gains.
The state also plans to use an extended-year graduation rate, and importantly it sets higher goals for that rate than the four-year rate. The new graduation requirements will be implemented in 2020 and the state may need to revisit its long-term goal after those data are available.
New Mexico could, however, further strengthen its plan by providing additional context and data explaining how it developed its goals. For example, it’s not clear what the connection is between the state’s long-term “Route to 66” vision and the annual performance targets in the interim.