APS superintendent outlines education plan for next five years

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The numbers show New Mexico isn’t doing enough to educate Native Americans and other disadvantaged children. 

Over the past two days, APS met with community leaders to figure out how to improve its education plan over the next five years. 

Back in 2018, a Santa Fe judge ruled that Native American children and disadvantaged families aren’t getting the education they deserve. So began the Yazzie-Martinez ruling – which the APS “Emerging Stronger” plan aims to address. 

Elder says there are four goals they will focus on in the next five years. 

“The literacy goal is to improve our literacy scores in third grade literacy by 10% over the next five years,” said Elder on the first goal. 

Only about 33% percent of third graders are proficient in English. The goal is to bring that up by 10 points by the year 2028.

The second goal? 

“The math goal, and it’s to improve our math scores on eighth-grade proficiency by 10% over the next five years,” Elder said. 

Less than 20% of APS eighth graders are where they need to be with math. So bringing that up by 50% will be a challenge. 

The next goal focuses on fostering skills beyond APS classrooms. 

“Goal three is college career readiness. And that’s where we’re going to try to provide more career, track tech industry certifications, more advanced placement, more international baccalaureate,” said Elder. 

The fourth and final goal is for students to learn soft skills. Which Elder says is necessary since the pandemic made children less social. 

“We’re trying to help them work through that time, those impacts are still being felt, and moving forward into life,” Elder said.  

70% of APS children fall within the Yazzie-Martinez category which is why it’s critical the school district improves in these categories. 

“It’s important that people know that we are listening, that we are working with the community, and that we’re trying to improve,” said Elder.