New Mexico assessment results and NAEP Long Term Trend Analysis released on the same day

Santa Fe, N.M. – After a tumultuous two years, New Mexico released its first statewide student achievement data since 2019. Unfortunately, it is difficult to decipher as transitions to new tests for reading and mathematics in grades 3-8 and high school make the data impossible to compare to previous achievement data. Data released by the Public Education Department today indicate that statewide reading proficiency is 34% for grades 3-8, and 11, while mathematics proficiency is 25%.

State assessment data shows just 27% of Hispanic 3rd graders are reading at grade level, the numbers are worse for economically disadvantaged students at 24% and Native American students at 14%. Troubling data exists on the opposite side of the spectrum as well, with only 16% of 11th grade students meeting proficiency benchmarks in math.

“New Mexico students deserve more. We have known this for a long time and today’s data releases from the New Mexico Public Education Department (NMPED) and the National Assessment for Education Progress (NAEP) confirm it,” said Amanda Aragon, executive director of NewMexicoKidsCAN. “Our students deserve more than a one in three chance to read on grade level and a one in four chance to master grade level math. Basic numeracy and literacy skills are essential to live full and productive lives. The reality is that we are failing to prepare the majority of our students with the skills we know they need to succeed.”

While New Mexico struggles to understand the impact of interruptions to student learning, data released today from the National Assessment of Educational Progress’s Long Term Trend Analysis, tells a dire story. After years of slow and steady improvement, the results show that over the past two years the United States has lost 20 years of progress. Student achievement has plunged to levels last seen in 1992, the year Bill Clinton was elected to his first term. As noted on today’s webinar briefing by the Commissioner for the National Center for Education Statistics, Peggy Carr, “these declines are not trivial. They are statistically significant.”

Several changes have been made to New Mexico’s assessment systems, including a change in the test itself from PARCC to the new New Mexico Measures for Student Success & Achievement (NM-MSSA). While PARCC was administered to all students grades 3-11, NM-MSSA is only administered to students in grades 3-8. High school students now only participate in the statewide assessment once during their high school career, when they take the SAT as juniors.

“We have been awaiting statewide data for a long time. After two years of educational struggles for our students and families, having insight into the statewide performance of our students in reading and math is critical and long overdue,” said Aragon. “It’s a happy coincidence that New Mexico and NAEP released assessment data on the same day. NAEP provides important longitudinal data that is foregone by states, such as New Mexico, which reset academic achievement baselines with constant changes to their state assessment.”

View a one page summary of changes to New Mexico’s education system here.

Today’s NAEP release can be accessed here.


About NewMexicoKidsCAN: Launched in 2018, NewMexicoKidsCAN is a local non-profit organization that advocates for community-informed, student-centered and research-backed education policies. Connecting policy, instructional practice and politics the organization works to reimagine what is possible in New Mexico’s public education system to ensure New Mexico students become the future community, civic and business leaders New Mexico needs.

To learn more, visit

Amanda is the founding executive director of NewMexicoKidsCAN and an alumna of the 50CAN Education Advocacy Fellowship. She lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.


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