New Mexico Education Above Average, Really?

I love these studies that come out on education and particularly the headlines like “N.M. Education Above Average in Report.” This story ran in the Albuquerque Journal on Friday and is called “Leaders and Laggards.”

So, what does “above average really mean? Well, last year, the study focused on test scores and ranked New Mexico 49th in the nation. Hardly above average. This year, the report was changed and focused on several, less specific factors including technology, removal of ineffective teachers, and data management. Not surprisingly, New Mexico performed well in technology, which has little or no impact on actual education results, but the state was one of the most difficult in the report in terms of getting rid of ineffective teachers.

The fact is that New Mexico’s educational system is well below average in terms of actual results. Muddying the water by factoring in all of these measurements that have only some impact on actual results is a waste of time and only masks the system’s real shortcomings.