The University of New Mexico’s Center for Education Policy Research (CEPR) has begun a project to research and evaluate the suitability of current performance measures for New America Schools, public charter schools dedicated to serving recent immigrants and their families.

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation has funded an award of $299,540 to CEPR for completing this two-year project, Nov. 2017 through Oct. 2019, to support this important mission-based evaluation research study.

The Albuquerque New America School (NAS) has received failing and near-failing ratings because existing performance measures are insufficient and poorly adapted to measuring the successful outcomes of its students.

According to CEPR, New Mexico’s alternative schools use nontraditional curricula and instructional methods to serve special populations, many of whom are young adults who, for a variety of reasons, require ancillary support services such as childcare, job development training, language development, personal counseling, and mentoring to complete their education.

The State’s school grading system holds these schools accountable to the same performance measures as traditional public schools, though many of those measures are poorly fitted to this population.

CEPR will research the literature, alternative accountability models of other states, readily available school administrative data, and other potentially obtainable data sources to evaluate their suitability as performance measures for these schools.

Additionally, this research study will grow the evaluation and assessment capacity of NAS New Mexico and will point to more suitable mission-based performance measures. NAS schools are located in the south valley of Albuquerque, and Las Cruces.

UNM CEPR is an interdisciplinary research center in the College of Arts and Sciences that conducts education-focused research to inform policy and systems change in education. CEPR concentrates on school and community health issues, public policy and evaluation related to early childhood education, K-12 education, higher education, workforce development, and juvenile justice.

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal pioneer, Will Keith Kellogg, is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life.