5 Reasons to ask your Legislator to Support Alternative Student Assessments

posted on January 16, 2019 by Tony Monfiletto

A special thanks to iNOCAL CEO and President Susan Patrick, for sharing your knowledge with us at our Reimagining Assessment event and for this blog.

Senator Michael PadillaThis year, New Mexico has a unique opportunity to determine on a local level how we want to approach education and student assessment. State Senator Michael Padilla has introduced Senate Joint Memorial 1 to the New Mexico Legislature.



Senate Joint Memorial 1 has the potential to transform education in New Mexico under the flexibility of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The memorial asks New Mexico to create a pilot program that will design new ways of assessing our students, besides just standardized tests.

We believe there is more to the story than standardized tests! The Memorial is an opportunity to rethink what students should know and be able to do in the future.  It’s a wonderful opportunity for us to transform our schools so that our young people are ready to help make our communities healthier and more prosperous in the future.

I hope you will call your legislator and ask them to support it.

Control Your Own Destiny

As a result of the reauthorization of ESSA in 2015, the federal government has acknowledged that education is best handled locally and the power has shifted back to states and districts for the first time in over a decade to decide how to serve students, families and local communities.

New Mexico is actually ahead of the curve

When the ESSA was written, the drafters were thinking about organizations like Learning Alliance New Mexico, Mission Graduate, and the Albuquerque Pubic Schools, and have been holding a series of conversations to contemplate a vision for student success that is aligned with the future needs of families, communities and our larger economy.

It’s a chance to think comprehensively

There is tremendous pent up demand for more trustworthy and just measures that empower teachers to do their best work with students.  The memorial is a chance to understand what it takes to do educate young people rather than simply how to test them.

The future is calling

We could leave the days of one dimensional blunt instrument tests to measure learning behind.  I’ve spoken to many employers and none of them believe that a single standardized test can tell you if a student is ready for the work force.  This is our chance to understand what it really means to be ready for the future economy and plan our instruction backward from that.

Trust is the way forward

New Mexico is the perfect place for innovation.  We are a small small state with less than 2.5 million people that is intensely based on relationships.  There is power in being two degrees of separation from one another.  It’s an opportunity for reciprocal relationships that build trust and shared responsibility for our young people which is the the best way forward.

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