Posted at: 01/24/2013 9:38 PM
Updated at: 01/24/2013 10:23 PM
By: Danielle Todesco, KOB Eyewitness News 4
The state Public Education Department has released New Mexico's graduation rates for 2012.
The statewide average is 70 percent, up from 63 percent in 2011.
The Albuquerque Public School District is calculated at 65 percent, up just slightly from 2011. The school district put out the following statement Thursday regarding the numbers:
"When Winston Brooks became superintendent of Albuquerque Public Schools nearly five years ago, the district set academic targets that included a 70 percent graduation rate and a narrowing of the achievement gap.
"APS has hit those targets.
"Four-year graduation rates released this week show that 70.1 percent of APS students graduated in 2012, and seven out of eight demographic groups saw improved rates including Hispanics, Native Americans and African Americans.
"The official district graduation rate as calculated by the New Mexico Public Education Department saw a slight increase from 63.4 percent in 2011 to 65 percent in 2012. However, the state changed the way it calculates graduation rates last year, now including district-authorized charter schools. When extracting charter schools, for which APS has no academic oversight, the graduation rate for APS is 70.1 percent, an increase of 3.2 percent from 2011.
"At the time APS set its target graduation rate at 70 percent, board-authorized charter schools were not included in the district's calculated rate."
Gov. Susana Martinez and Secretary Designate Hanna Skandera announced the new numbers at a media conference at Rio Rancho High School Thursday.
"I'm so thrilled to see this progress. Congratulations to parents, teachers, and all of those involved in kids' lives to make sure that they graduate," Governor Martinez said.
The state also had significant increases in minority graduation rates.
Martinez also announced one of her education proposals for this legislative session. She wants the state to start using the data that is already being collected on students to flag those at risk of dropping out.