The office of assessment is responsible for coordinating all federally mandated and State mandated assessments for the Las Cruces Public Schools. The chart below details which assessments are given to students each year and the approximate length and timeframe for administration. The name of each test provides a link to helpful resources in understanding each assessment.

These assessments are used primarily to inform instruction. Secondary uses are to help students meet high school graduation requirements, school grading, and teacher evaluations as required by State and Federal requirements.

Sarah Draughon
District Test Coordinator


State of New Mexico Assessment Program

Istation NMAPA SBA Science PARCC ELA & Math EOCs
Kinder – 3rd 4th – 8th, 10th – 11th 4th, 7th, 11th 3rd – 11th 5th – 12th
30 – 40 minutes 120 minutes, individualized 3 units, 60 minutes each 3 – 4 unites, 60 – 90 minutes each 30 – 60 minutes each
July (K-3+), Sept.; Jan.; May March March April – May May
12th graders are given retakes as needed
Language Screener Spanish Language Proficiency ACCESS (English Language Proficiency) SBA Spanish Reading
Kinder – 12th Kinder – 12th Kinder – 12th 3rd – 11th
60 min. 60 – 90 min. 60 – 90 min. 3 units, 60 minutes each
Initial Identification of EL Status October Jan. – Feb. April – May
Given once upon enrollment Only for students in dual language Only students with EL status Given in place of PARCC ELA for eligible EL students

Frequently Asked Questions about Assessment

FAQs for Students and Families

Q: How and when can I get copies of my student’s test scores?

A: Online score reports are typically available within 3 months of test administration and paper reports are delivered to Central Office about 6 months after administration. Central Office staff work with schools to send home paper copies of the reports within 30 days of local receipt. The school then distributes scores to students to bring home.

If you did not get a copy of their scores, you can request a new copy of their scores. Parent/guardians of currently enrolled students will need to contact the counselor at the school. If the student is no longer enrolled in Las Cruces Public Schools, please file a request with Student Records located at the Teaching and Learning Center, 505 S. Main St, Suite 400, Las Cruces, NM 88001.

Q: What assessments does my student have to take and why?

A: That depends on the grade level, programs, and courses that your student is enrolled in. State and Federal requirements will vary depending on a student’s specific situation. Please see the “State of New Mexico Assessment Program” chart above to get an overview. You may schedule an appointment with the school to find out more about your student’s situation.

Federal and State Law requires that all students participate in the assessments outlined above in the “State of New Mexico Assessment Program” chart.

Federal: ESEA; HR1, Title1, Part A, Subpart 1, Section 1111, (b), 3, C

https://www2.ed.gov/policy/elsec/leg/esea02/pg2.html#sec1111

State of New Mexico:

  • Section 22-2C-4 NMSA 1978

https://webnew.ped.state.nm.us/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/CCRB_graduation_NMSA.22-2C-4.Statewide.Assessment.and_.Accountabiity.System.pdf

  • 29.1 .L.(1) NMAC

http://www.nmcpr.state.nm.us/uploads/nmac/06/06.029.0001.pdf

One exception: A student with a rare and unique condition that prevents him/her from receiving instruction may receive a medical exemption with PED approval. http://webnew.ped.state.nm.us/bureaus/assessment/district-test-coordinator/

Q: Why do students take so many assessments?

A: There are many different types of assessment and not all children participate in all assessments. The primary purpose for assessment is to inform instruction and guide schools in making decisions to support your student’s learning, growth, and development. Students are given classroom and school based assessments as needed throughout the school year. The State-mandated assessments are administered once per year, usually towards the end of the course.

Q: How much time do children spend taking an assessment instead of learning?

A: The “State of New Mexico Assessment Program” chart above details how much time students spend on each assessment for administration. The total amount will depend on which assessments the student will participate in. Students will also spend some class time preparing for assessment through lessons on test-taking skills and practice tests that will be incorporated into meaningful instruction.

Q: How do the assessment scores affect my student’s teacher(s)?

A: Teachers are evaluated using State mandated assessments as a portion of their evaluation along with observation and other professional job requirements. Scores from SBA Science, PARCC, NMAPA, Istation reading, and EOCs are included in their evaluations as aligned with their position.

Q: Do teachers know what is on the tests that they are giving?

A: Teachers have access to blueprints, released items, and other materials to guide their instruction prior to the assessments.

: Will my student be retained if they do not pass the annual State mandated assessments? If they fail the assessment, what happens?

A: State mandated assessments are not the only measurement of a student’s academic, social, and emotional needs. The scores from assessments may be used as part of the decision making process but should never be the deciding factor. If a student does not score well on the exam, schools will use that information to help determine what, if any, additional supports and interventions should be provided for the student. See LCPS Policy IKE Placement, Promotion, Acceleration and Retention for more information.

Q: What assessments are required for graduation?

A: Students in High School must meet course and assessment requirements for graduation. For assessments, they must show proficiency in specific math, reading, writing, science, and social studies assessments. The chart below provides an overview of the requirements for those cohorts. Assessment requirements may change for future cohorts. Please see LCPS Policy IKF Graduation/Credit Requirements and the State Statute and Rule 22-2C.4 Statewide Assessment, 22-13-1.1 Graduation Requirements, 6.19.7 NMAC, Demonstration of Competency for High School Graduation for more information.

Graduation Assessment Requirements
Standard Graduation Pathway

Cohort 2019 Cohort 2020 Cohort 2021 Cohort 2022
Reading PARCC ELA 11
725 total score
or
42 reading subscore
PARCC ELA 11
750 total score
or
50 reading subscore
PARCC ELA 11
750 total score
or
50 reading subscore
PARCC ELA 11
750 total score
or
50 reading subscore
Writing

PARCC ELA 11
725 total score
or
31 writing subscore

PARCC ELA 11
750 total score
or
35 writing subscore
PARCC ELA 11
750 total score
or
35 writing subscore
PARCC ELA 11
750 total score
or
35 writing subscore
Math PARCC Geometry or Algebra II
725 total score
PARCC Geometry or Algebra II
750 total score
PARCC Geometry or Algebra II
750 total score
PARCC Geometry or Algebra II
750 total score
Science SBA Science
1138 total score
SBA Science
1138 total score
Grade 11 NM STEM Ready! Science Assessment
Score TBA
Grade 11 NM STEM Ready! Science Assessment
Score TBA
Social Studies Pass One State Social Studies EOC
Examples: NM History, World History, US History, US Government
Pass One State Social Studies EOC
Examples: NM History, World History, US History, US Government
Pass One State Social Studies EOC
Examples: NM History, World History, US History, US Government
Pass One State Social Studies EOC
Examples: NM History, World History, US History, US Government
Attempt Requirements Two attempts to pass before using an Alternate assessment Two attempts to pass before using an Alternate assessment Two attempts to pass before using an Alternate assessment One attempt to pass before using an Alternate assessment
Q: Can a high school student retake a graduation assessment if they do not pass it?

A: Yes. All of the exams may be taken twice to attempt a passing score. If a student does not pass after two attempts, there are Alternative Demonstrations of Competency that a student may use to demonstrate competency in any area they need.

Q: My High School student is transferring from another state into New Mexico. What assessments will they have to take to graduate?

A: Any student that transfers prior to their Senior year of high school will need to demonstrate competency in math, reading, writing, science, and social studies. A student with scores from another state or country may be able to submit a Graduation Waiver request through their school to accept scores for assessments outside of New Mexico. In the senior year of high school, the student will demonstrate competency in math, reading, and writing only.

Q: My student has a disability that is covered with an IEP or 504. What accommodations are allowed for assessments?

A: Accommodations for each assessment vary. For the most up-to-date information, you can review the accommodations manual published by NMPED or schedule an appointment with your student’s case manager.

Q: My child does not speak English fluently yet. Do they have to take assessments in English?

A: Students that are identified as English Learners may take assessments in Spanish when available for the first 3 years that they are enrolled in school. If their native language is something other than Spanish, schools may be able to provide accommodations for some assessments. Please schedule a meeting with your student’s teacher or the school administration to discuss what is available.

Q: I think my student needs to be tested for a disability. How do I begin that process?

A: Diagnostic testing for educational needs begins at the school level. Please schedule a meeting with your student’s teachers or school administration to discuss what needs to occur.

Q: Can my child log into any resources at home? How?

A: Las Cruces Public Schools students in grades K-5 have access to the Istation activities (not the assessment) at home. They can use it on any device with internet. Please contact your student’s school to request login information for this resource.

Q: Are there practice materials that my student can use to prepare for their assessments?

A: On the “State of New Mexico Assessment Program” chart above , you may review information about each assessment and what is on them with your student. Click on the title of the assessment to access the resources. There are not any district provided study guides or test prep materials for our State Mandated assessments.

Q: Where can I find information regarding PSAT, ACT, AP exams or SAT?

A: Information regarding college entrance exams and AP exams can be found by contacting your high school counselor or from the websites for those exams.

Q: I want to know what grade my child’s school got last year. Where can I find that?

A: School grading information is found on the NMPED website at: http://aae.ped.state.nm.us/


FAQs for Teachers

Q: I am about to assess my class on a State Mandated assessment and I have extra student or I am missing students. How can I get that fixed?

A: Please submit requests to add or remove student’s assessments to your School Test Coordinator. They will assist you.

Q: I have questions about my teacher evaluation. Where can I find more information?

A: Requests for information about your teacher evaluation need to be sent to Human Resources.

Q: Where can I find more resources pertaining to training, administration, and other assessment related topics?

A: Teachers are added to a Staff Assessment Resources course that contains current assessment specific content. Please let your School Test Coordinator know if you do not have access to this online course.


Assessment Participation and Opt Out Information

Participation Information

Taking the annual state assessment is an essential part of measuring and supporting students’ academic growth; without the information gathered from these assessments, teachers and schools are less equipped to best serve individual students’ learning needs. This assessment is in the best interest of our students and provides important information to educators and families regarding their students’ academic progress.

In previous years, the required state assessment was fulfilled through the Standards-Based Assessment (SBA). This year, in English Language Arts and in math, the SBA will be replaced by a new assessment called PARCC. (Note: Students in grades 4, 7, and 11 will continue taking the SBA in science.)

Q: What does the law say about student participation in the state assessment?

A: New Mexico statute (NMSA 1978, §22-2C-4) states: “All students shall participate in the academic assessment program.”

By law, all students without an exemption for medical reasons are required to take the state assessment. The statute does not offer an exemption or right of refusal. The “academic assessment program” referred to in the statute is defined as the annual state assessments in specific subject areas (i.e., the SBA or PARCC). As such, all eligible students are expected to participate in the state assessment.

Please refer to the following link for the full text of the relevant New Mexico state law (NMSA 22-2C-4): http://ped.state.nm.us/ped/GradDocs/requirement/NMSA%2022-2C-4.pdf.

Q: How much time is spent on testing?

A: Tests that are mandated by the state include the state’s annual assessments in math and language arts for grades 3 through high school (known previously as SBA, now PARCC), and end-of-course (EOC) exams for all courses offered for high school credit. Overall, New Mexico has reduced state required testing time from 2010-2015 by 2.5 hours (across all grades).

If your child is taking other assessments that are not on the list of state required assessments, this is at the direction of your child’s teacher, principal, or district leadership. If this is the case, you may consider asking your child’s district or school the purpose of these additional assessments.

When used responsibly, assessments are a powerful tool for educators and are part of instructional best practice. It is important as a parent to understand the role that any assessment plays in your child’s learning.

Q: What happens to my student if I refuse to have them participate in the state assessment?

A: The state assessment provides valuable information about a student’s learning and progress to teachers, schools and parents. Specifically, the information from the state assessment helps to inform teachers and schools about a student’s academic growth, whether a student is “on grade level” in key subject areas such as reading and math, and, as a result, the areas where a student may need extra support and instruction. Without the information gathered from the state assessment, our teachers and schools lose a valuable tool to identify and support an individual student’s learning needs.

In addition, the information provided by the state assessment allows teachers and parents to know with confidence how their student is doing in comparison with students in other classrooms, schools across the state and, soon, across the nation.

Second, the annual state assessments fulfill several key high school graduation requirements. While there are alternative measures to fulfill graduation requirements (called alternative demonstrations of competency that are determined by individual districts), not taking the state assessments will limit students’ opportunities to fulfill graduation requirements and may jeopardize their ability to graduate on time.

Testing for younger students helps prepare them for more rigorous coursework and to remain “on track” for success in college or a career by providing their teachers and schools with information to help them better meet their academic needs. This information is used to provide the necessary instructional supports to ensure that they are on track to be able to tackle higher level coursework.

Because the law does not provide for opting out of the state assessment, schools may respond differently to a parent’s request to refuse testing. PED has clarified that all students attending school must be provided instruction, but how your child’s school handles this requirement if you refuse testing for your child is a local decision and will likely vary from school to school.

Q: What happens to my student’s school if I refuse to have them participate in the state assessment?

A: Based on federal law, all schools are required to assess at least 95% of their eligible students using the statewide assessment. The full federal requirements can be found here: http://www2.ed.gov/policy/elsec/leg/esea02/pg2.html.

If a school does not meet the 95% requirement, their A-F school letter grade will be reduced by one grade (for example, a school with a grade of B would automatically receive a grade of C). Refusing to have your student participate in the statewide assessment may impact your school’s overall grade.

As mentioned above, federal regulations require that over 95% of New Mexico’s students participate in annual assessments in order to maintain federal education funding. If New Mexico as a state does not meet the federal requirement of 95% participation for all students, there is a risk that the state may lose federal funding for public education.