New Mexico - Public Education Department
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Every Student Succeeds Act
New Mexico ESSA Draft Plan

The New Mexico Public Education Department (PED) conducted ongoing and meaningful stakeholder engagement throughout 2016 in the development of a state plan on behalf of New Mexico's students. In the fall of 2016, the PED embarked upon the largest stakeholder engagement community tour in recent memory. With the aim of providing every New Mexico resident with the opportunity to engage in the process of providing input in the development and design of the state plan, a wide variety of opportunities for engagement were hosted, including public meetings, online surveys, targeted working groups, and receptions for teachers and parents.

With a true desire to open channels of communication and listen to stakeholders, the PED partnered with New Mexico's top public policy organization, New Mexico First, to develop the New Mexico Rising Tour. The New Mexico Rising Tour consisted of 20 fully facilitated listening sessions across New Mexico's six largest communities. Upon the conclusion of the tour, New Mexico First released a series of eight reports; one statewide summary, one report for each unique community visited and one summary of tribal engagement.

Additionally, the PED has published a summary of forty (40) instances where major themes of stakeholder feedback have been incorporated to the state's ESSA plan, other state policy/programs, and/or upcoming efforts to improve the educational experience for our students.

With the conclusion of the New Mexico Rising Tour and the extensive public engagement related to the Every Student Succeeds Act, the New Mexico State Plan is now available for review to stakeholders across the Land of Enchantment.

New Mexico Rising Tour Feedback and Action Steps

During the Fall of 2016, the New Mexico Public Education Department worked with the non-partisan public policy organization New Mexico First to launch one of the largest education listening tours in New Mexico's history—New Mexico Rising. The feedback collected through the listening tour will inform New Mexico's state plan for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which is our roadmap for ensuring that all of our students are learning at high levels. Many of the foundational building blocks that are required in the new law–high standards, accountability, and quality assessments–are already established.

PED is grateful to the hundreds of teachers, parents, and community leaders who gave of their time to provide meaningful and constructive feedback during our listening tour. As we continue to refine our state plan, there are several steps which we can take immediately in response to the feedback we have received. Below are three of the major themes found in the report and how PED is responding to them right away.

CLICK HERE to read PED's Response to Stakeholder Feedback

CLICK HERE to Read New Mexico First's Report


The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was signed into law December 10, 2015 replacing No Child Left Behind and the waiver system. ESSA is the national education law that reinforces the longstanding commitment to ensuring equal opportunity for all students. The ESSA provides New Mexico with a long-term stability that holds states, local school systems and schools accountable for results while encouraging them to be innovative in their work. New Mexico is well-positioned to transition to meet the law's new expectations. Under the new law, New Mexico will continue to focus on many of the same areas including efforts to build upon our student-focused accountability system and provide our educators with the support and training they need.

Stakeholder Engagement

ESSA provides New Mexico the opportunity to re-engage with students, educators, district leaders, families, and the community for input on how to continuously refine our system to better support our teachers and students. The Public Education Department will be convening working groups throughout the summer and fall of 2016 to ensure we provide an innovative plan for all children, based on New Mexico's existing education foundation.

The Public Education Department will also co-host regional community meetings throughout the state this fall to solicit input from the community to contribute to the development of New Mexico's plan to support schools and student learning. Meetings will be hosted in the following communities on the following dates:

  • October 12th – Gallup
  • October 14th – Farmington
  • October 17th – Santa Fe
  • October 18th – Albuquerque
  • October 27th – Roswell
  • November 15th – Las Cruces

To register to attend an event in your community, visit the New Mexico First website.

Community meeting sessions, times, and addresses will be announced in September 2016, and additional opportunities for engagement will be announced later this fall. Community meetings will include multiple opportunities and open houses to engage:

  • Teachers, school and district administrators
  • Parents and families
  • Community, tribal and civic leaders
  • State and local elected officials
  • School boards

Community meeting dates and locations will be announced in September 2016. Additional opportunities for engagement will also be announced later this fall.

ESSA Transition and Implementation

State flexibility waivers from NCLB expired on August 1, 2016. Under ESSA, states and districts are expected to continue interventions through the 2016-17 school year. The requirements of ESSA go into effect in the 2017-18 school year, and new state plans will be due in Spring 2017.

Future Updates

Stay tuned for information about how you can sign up for email updates regarding ESSA. For more information, please contact Amanda Aragon at or (505) 629-6604.

Community meeting dates and locations will be announced in September 2016.

Provide Feedback:

We invite you to share your feedback with the NMPED on the proposed New Mexico state plan. After reviewing the proposed plan you may submit feedback via:

  • Completing the NM ESSA Feedback Survey

  • Mail to:

    New Mexico
    Public Education Department
    300 Don Gaspar
    Santa Fe, NM 87501

Please email with any questions.



ESSA Draft Plan Release and Update from Secretary Skandera – March 2017

ESSA Update from Secretary Skandera – December 2016

ESSA Update from Secretary Skandera – October 2016

Click to View ESSA Inforgraphic
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