The secret for New Mexico's best schools? Thinking outside the box | KOB 4
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The secret for New Mexico's best schools? Thinking outside the box

Colton Shone
October 24, 2017 05:44 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – New Mexico has a long way to go when it comes to education, with a lot of schools bearing an "F" grade from the state.

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But not all students are having subpar classroom experiences, and the Public Education Department is on a tour highlighting the successful "A" grade schools to see what they're doing right and what other schools can learn from them.

There are 15 schools in the Albuquerque Public Schools district that received an "A" grade, including Roosevelt Middle School in Tijeras. Roosevelt’s principal says they received that distinction by doing things differently.

From specialized ukulele classes to applied math where students put their arithmetic towards building objects, it's easy to see why students at the middle school look forward to coming to class.

"It gives the kids an opportunity to actually use what they’re learning, and see the practicality," Principal Cee Kaye Nation said.

Roosevelt is just one of many stops on the Straight A Express tour by PED Secretary-Designate Christopher Ruszkowski, who says leaders at these schools are thinking outside the box when teaching their students.

"They're finding a way to extend the learning time for kids both in school and out of school. So whether that's using online technology, parent and family engagement, kids are learning 24/7/365," he said.

In a ceremony honoring other APS schools with "A" grades, APS Superintendent Raquel Reedy said providing quality education is a community effort.

"Teachers and staff can't do this work by themselves. We need to have the families, communities and business to step up and support us in this effort," she said.

As for parents, Ruszkowski encouraged them to get involved in their child's school, even if it doesn’t have a passing grade from the state. He also reminded them that they have other options if they’re concerned about their child’s education.

"It's actually in New Mexico state law that if a school earns an "F" two out of four years, they have the legal right to explore other options," he said.

In total, 121 schools out of more than 800 have an "A" grade. You can see how individual schools are doing by clicking here.

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Colton Shone

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

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