SENATE BILL 615
54th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - first session, 2019
Linda M. Lopez
RELATING TO PUBLIC EDUCATION; PROVIDING FOR EXTERNAL EQUITY ASSESSMENTS FOR SCHOOL DISTRICTS AND CHARTER SCHOOLS REGARDING THE EDUCATION OF AT-RISK STUDENTS.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO:
SECTION 1. A new section of the Assessment and Accountability Act is enacted to read:
"[NEW MATERIAL] AT-RISK STUDENTS--EQUITABLE EDUCATION--EXTERNAL EQUITY ASSESSMENTS--DEVELOPMENT OF PLANS THAT INCLUDE GOALS AND OBJECTIVES FOR MEETING THE NEEDS OF AT-RISK STUDENTS.--
A. As used in this section:
(1) "at-risk student" means a student who is in one or more of the following categories:
(a) English language learner and cultural diversity;
(b) adverse childhood experiences, including physical, emotional or mental trauma, abuse or neglect, poverty and homelessness;
(c) special education;
(d) high mobility, chronic truancy or at risk of dropping out of school;
(e) illiteracy and innumeracy in students old enough to have been taught to read and do arithmetic; and
(f) other factors or categories that contribute to a student's risk of academic failure;
(2) "equity assessment" means the collection of baseline data on student and community demographics, student achievement and grade promotion; school- and district-level and community resources and services available to at-risk students; and data collected by external evaluators, along with data collected by evaluator-led discussions, interviews or forums with individual and groups of students, school staff, families and community members, which baseline and other data are analyzed to assess a public school's or school district's equity rank in how well it responds to and educates at-risk students; and
(3) "equity plan" means the use of baseline data at the school site to identify goals and objectives to better meet student needs and eliminate the obstacles that prevent full student participation.
B. The department shall conduct or cause to be conducted a pilot implementation of external equity assessments of ten public schools and school districts within three years of the effective date of this act. The department shall choose how it wants to schedule the assessments over the time allowed. C. The equity assessment for each public school shall identify obstacles to and opportunities for improvements in educating at-risk students and assess the feasibility of mitigating obstacles and enacting opportunities in a matrix that ranks feasibility in terms of:
(1) communication for family and community engagement;
(2) ease and speed of implementation;
(4) availability of expertise in the school district or community and, if not available, strategies for providing required expertise;
(5) cultural competency of teaching and other public school and school district staff;
(6) linguistic and cultural relevance of curriculum, instructional materials and other educational resources and appropriate relevance for students with disabilities;
(7) required or desired staff training and professional development; and
(8) other factors determined by the department and the children's cabinet.
D. As equity assessments are completed in public schools, the public schools shall use their assessment and matrix to develop an equity plan that includes objectives and timed goals to meet those objectives in improving the educational outcomes for at-risk students. Each public school and school district shall appoint a family advisory council to assist it in developing its equity and implementation plans. A family advisory council shall consist of school employees, students, family members of students, community leaders, child advocates and experts who work with children and adults in the at-risk categories.
E. The department shall work with the children's cabinet to help the department carry out the provisions of this section."
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