New Mexico Achievement Gap Projects

Analytic Technical Support

New Mexico Achievement Gap Data Inventory (completed)

REL Southwest developed a data inventory for the New Mexico Achievement Gap Research Alliance. This inventory provides information on data sources, the data elements contained within those sources, and the applicability of the data to inform and advance the alliance's research agenda. Sources include data collected and maintained by the New Mexico Public Education Department, the New Mexico Higher Education Department, the U.S. Department of Education, and other organizations. Data elements included in the inventory focus on students from prekindergarten through high school and their postsecondary outcomes, with a particular interest in Hispanic and Native American populations.

Measuring Noncognitive Factors Through Student Surveys (completed)

This three-part workshop series focused on building alliance members' knowledge and understanding of the noncognitive aspects of learning (for example, self-discipline, goal setting, grit, resilience) that research has shown to be related to students' transitional successes and struggles from grade 8 to grade 9. In addition, the project built the capacity of alliance members to design, pilot test, and administer surveys. The project resulted in the construction of a survey to measure noncognitive and school context factors related to the transition from grade 8 to grade 9. REL Southwest plans to administer this survey to students in 10 to 15 school districts in New Mexico as part of a future study (see proposed research below).

Understanding Logic Models (completed)

This targeted technical assistance was provided as a follow-up to two Understanding Logic Models workshops. The assistance built alliance members' capacity to critically appraise programs that have been successful elsewhere and rigorously evaluated to determine their potential in New Mexico. The focus was on programs to improve student transitions.

Research and Evaluation Studies

Graduation Exam Participation and Performance, Graduation Rates, and Advanced Coursetaking Following Changes in New Mexico Graduation Requirements, 2011–15 (completed)

REL Southwest conducted a study to describe New Mexico high school students' enrollment and performance in math and science courses, graduation exam scores, and graduation rates before and after the state's new graduation requirements went into effect in 2013. The results are informing policymakers as they evaluate and refine the state's high school graduation requirements.

Advanced Course Completion Rates Among New Mexico High School Students Following Changes in Graduation Requirements (completed)

REL Southwest conducted a study to examine coursetaking patterns across student subgroups in New Mexico public high schools. The findings will assist alliance members and other stakeholders in developing strategies to promote equitable opportunities for all high school students in the state.

Assessing the Role of Noncognitive and School Environmental Factors in New Mexico Students’ Grade 9 Transitions (completed)

The alliance seeks to close achievement gaps by improving grade 9 transitions for Hispanic and Native American students in New Mexico. At the alliance’s request, REL Southwest conducted a study examining grade 9 students’ perceptions of their noncognitive skills and high school environments and how those perceptions relate to students’ academic success in grade 9.

Understanding Connections Between English and Spanish Proficiency for English Learner Students in New Mexico (completed)

REL Southwest conducted a study to gain a better understanding of the co-development of English learner (EL) students' proficiency in their first and second languages in early elementary school. The study also explored how growth in both English and Spanish language and literacy proficiency contributes to EL students' academic performance in upper elementary school. The findings will provide a model for the use of state data to track the progress of English learners longitudinally.