Clovis schools to appeal probationary status

Gary Mitchell

Clovis school officials are set to meet with state Department of Education officials on Friday to appeal a recent probationary rating for Bella Vista Elementary.
The Educational Standards Commission will hold hearings for districts to appeal ratings at the State Capitol, Room 303, in Santa Fe.
Eligible schools are those that received a probationary rating for the first or second time and will enter either the “performance warned” or “first year of school improvement” categories.
Clovis officials will present their case for changing Bella Vista‘s status from 10:30 to 11 a.m. on Friday
Portales will appeal for Valencia Elementary from 11:15 to 11:45 a.m.
Clovis administrators felt “there were some discrepancies in the testing two years ago — not this last year,” said Ladona Clayton, assistant superintendent for instruction for Clovis schools. “We believe the data can’t be used to make comparisons to this year’s test results. We went back and retested the students at the school, but the state department did not use the results of the latter test. They used the results from the test we questioned. They’re operating on information we reported to them as being inaccurate.”
The ESC will consider, in addition to other norm-referenced and criterion-referenced test data, results from district-designed tests that demonstrate student progress toward the state’s content standards, benchmarks and performance standards, other assessments aligned to the state’s standards and other data which address attendance, dropout rate and graduation rate.
“Schools must present compelling evidence that students have made progress that is not reflected in the accountability rating system,” said Dr. Melville Morgan, the SDE’s assistant superintendent of accountability and school improvement services. “School and district personnel must present data that demonstrate justification for the appeal.”
After the Educational Standards Commission hears the appeals, the members will “review what they’ve heard and prepare a report to the state Board of Education,” said Bill Blair, deputy director of the accountability and school improvement services division. “They will make a recommendation to change or not to change the ratings.”
The next meeting of the state Board of Education will be Oct. 8-9, Blair said.
Clovis school officials said they felt they have strong cases to present to the commission.
“We feel very confident because of the information we’ve gathered,” Clayton said. “We feel we’ll be presenting a strong case and feel appreciative to have the opportunity for this appeal process.”
Clayton said the Clovis school district will not be appealing the probationary ratings given to Gattis Junior High, Parkview Elementary and Cameo Elementary.