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PED: 56 percent of APS schools got failing grade

Kasia Gregorczyk
August 23, 2017 06:22 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- It's understandable Albuquerque Public Schools parents might be alarmed to learn 56 percent of schools in the district are receiving a failing grade in 2017.

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According to the Public Education Department's school grades, more than half of APS schools are receiving a "D" or "F," 17 percent fall in the middle with a "C," and only 27 percent sit at the top with an "A" or "B" grade.

"It's saddening and it's disheartening," said Tammie Puckett, who has children in three APS schools.

The school district acknowledged the lackluster results in an online statement from the superintendent, saying the district isn't satisfied with the grades, either.

The first solution is outlined as "budgetary changes," putting more resources back into schools and classrooms. The second is "personnel changes," stating more than a third of the schools have new leadership this year.

Lastly, Superintendent Raquel Reedy and other administrators hope to address those concerns through a list of priorities. "The Big 5," as they call it, will focus on areas like attendance, college and career readiness, and community and parent engagement.

"Our kids aren’t getting a fair shot and our teachers aren’t getting a fair shot," Puckett said. "I have a lot of friends who are teachers and they struggle because of the PARCC testing, the evaluations, the constant testing. It's like our kids are testing more than they're being educated."

Testing and controversial teacher evaluations do play a role in the grading system, which is a big part of the reason why Puckett doesn't necessarily take those grades to heart.

"I look at Mitchell Elementary and I think it's an amazing school with an amazing staff, and I don’t know how their rating is so low," she said.

Mitchell Elementary received a "D" for 2017. Even though Puckett is frustrated with the grade, she's been happy with her kids' experience there for years.

She's also pleased with Hoover Middle School and Eldorado High School, which received "C" and "B" ratings, respectively. Additionally, Puckett believes students' success doesn’t fall solely on the school and the teacher.

"You have to be encouraging your kids to do their homework," she said. "You have to be helping them do their homework. You have to help them succeed as well. You can't just be a passive parent."

KOB reached out to Gov. Susana Martinez for comment on the APS results. She said in part, "These results aren’t surprising. Those schools that have embraced reforms are on the rise while those that refuse to make improvements for our kids continue to struggle."

Click here to see where your child's school ranks.

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Kasia Gregorczyk

Copyright 2017 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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