According to The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), a congressionally mandated large-scale national assessment of education in America, New Mexico’s education scores are the lowest in the nation in multiple categories. The NAEP assessment is dubbed “The Nation’s Report Card.”
NAEP’s assessment shows from 2019 to 2022, the post-pandemic recovery for New Mexico’s already failing education system is not looking good.
Fourth-grade mathematics scores for New Mexico children are ranked 50th out of all 50 states, being beaten only by the territory of Puerto Rico. Eighth-grade mathematics scores ranked 49th, being nearly tied with Washington D.C. and West Virginia while only beating Puerto Rico in that category.
In the category of reading, New Mexico fourth-graders ranked once again took the bottom spot, with no jurisdictions ranking higher in the category, but the District of Columbia, West Virginia, and Alaska coming close. New Mexico eighth-graders also scored the lowest in the nation, with the exception of Puerto Rico. Other states with similar low eighth-grade reading scores include Oklahoma, Alabama, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia.
Only 19 percent of New Mexico fourth-graders are proficient in math, while 13 percent of New Mexico eighth-graders are math proficient. 21 percent of the state’s fourth graders are proficient in reading, while 18 percent of New Mexico’s eighth graders are proficient in the same category.
In both mathematics and reading, New Mexico’s children did not change in the rankings, while all other states and jurisdictions improved post-pandemic.
Fourth-grade math scores are the lowest in 17 years, while eighth-graders scores are the lowest in 30 years. In reading, New Mexico fourth graders had the lowest scores in 13 years, while eighth graders in the same category had the lowest scores in 15 years.
During the current administration of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, her Department of Education has gone through three education secretaries in four years. During the pandemic, Lujan Grisham locked down the state, leaving New Mexico children without education for months and years. Thousands of students were “missing” from getting an education during the pandemic.
In 2021, New Mexico ranked as the state with the highest suicide rate in the United States, with the rate for children ages 4-15 increasing by 88%.