K-12 Math in New Mexico

k-12 math education in New Mexico

New Mexico is among the first few states that adopted the Common Core State Standards. However, New Mexico is witnessing a decline in students’ math academic proficiency. In the 2012-2013 NAEP, 31% of Grade 4 and 23% of Grade 8 students in New Mexico achieved math proficiency, predating the new curriculum’s full implementation. The number dropped to 29% for Grade 4 students and 21% for Grade 8 students in 2019. New Mexico tied for the last place with Alabama in 2019 NAEP Math Scores, ranking 49th among the 50 states. New Mexico ranks last among all states with a 26% high school graduation rate within four years. So, what went wrong with K-12 math education in New Mexico?


Common Core State Standards in New Mexico

The Common Core Math Standards in New Mexico contain practical skills that students should learn across all mathematical disciplines at all grade levels. These skills include: understanding and solving problems, abstract and quantitative reasoning, mathematical arguments and reasoning, modeling, using appropriate tools, communicating clearly, understanding repeated reasoning, and patterns and structure. Besides these practical skills, students should also master specific math knowledge as they progress from K-12. 


Kindergarten – Grade 5N/ACounting, cardinality, thinking algebraically, mathematical operations, data, measurement, geometry, Base 10 and fractional numbers and operations
Grade 6 – 8N/AStatistics and probability, geometry, equations and expressions, the number system, ratios, proportional relationships, functions
Grade 9 -12Number and QuantityVector and matrix quantities, quantitative reasoning, the complex and real number systems
AlgebraCreating and finding structure in equations, polynomials, rational expressions, reasoning with inequalities, reasoning with equations
FunctionsInterpreting and creating functions; models – linear, exponential and quadratic; trigonometric functions
ModelingCreating and applying models appropriately within all concept areas
GeometryDimensions and measurements, circles, congruence, trigonometry, similarity, right angles, using equations to express properties, geometric modeling
Statistics and ProbabilityData interpretation, inferences and conclusions, probability rules, conditional probability, decision making


2021 School District Performance in New Mexico

New Mexico has a total of 142 school districts. According to the U.S. Department of Education, Los Alamos Public Schools is #1 Best School District in New Mexico, followed by Texico Municipal Schools in #2, and San Jon Municipal Schools in #3. These rankings are based on state test scores, public school district ratings, and more.



School District


School District

#1Los Alamos Public Schools#26Tatum Municipal Schools
#2Texico Municipal Schools#27Wagon Mound Public Schools
#3San Jon Municipal Schools#28To’Hajiilee Day School
#4Animas Public Schools#29Quemado Independent Schools
#5Grady Municipal Schools#30Vaughn Municipal Schools
#6Cloudcroft Municipal Schools#31Portales Municipal Schools
#7New Mexico School for the Deaf#32Floyd Municipal Schools
#8Corona Municipal Schools#33Truth or Consequences Municipal School District
#9Rio Rancho Public Schools#34Maxwell Municipal Schools
#10Dora Municipal Schools


Albuquerque Public Schools
#11Elida Municipal Schools#36Springer Municipal Schools
#12Des Moines Municipal Schools#37Alamo Navajo Community School
#13Reserve Public Schools#38Santa Rosa Consolidated Schools
#14Artesia Public Schools#39Moriarty-Edgewood School District
#15Melrose Public Schools#40Gadsden Independent Schools
#16Farmington Municipal Schools#41Estancia Municipal Schools
#17Roy Municipal Schools#42Mission Achievement & Success
#18Cimarron Municipal Schools#43Taos Municipal Schools
#19Clayton Municipal Schools#44Clovis Municipal Schools
#20House Municipal Schools#45Lovington Municipal Schools
#21Mosquero Municipal Schools#46Santa Fe Public Schools
#22Las Cruces Public Schools#47Magdalena Municipal Schools
#23Fort Sumner Municipal Schools#48Los Lunas Public Schools
#24Logan Municipal Schools#49Mountainair Public Schools
#25Capitan Municipal Schools#50Jemez Mountain Public Schools

In Los Alamos Public Schools, 47% are proficient in math (ranked 1st), while Capitan Municipal Schools have 24% proficiency (ranked 25th), and Jemez Mountain Public Schools show 12% proficiency (ranked 50th). While these factors aren’t directly linked to school district rankings, the reasons for varying math performance in New Mexico remain unclear.


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Standards in Your State – http://www.corestandards.org/
Public education in New Mexico – https://ballotpedia.org/
Academic Proficiency – https://newmexicoschools.com/
Pre-K – 12 Rankings – https://www.usnews.com/
Graduation and College and Career Readiness – https://newmexicoschools.com/
Common Core State Standards in New Mexico – https://study.com/
2021 Best School Districts in New Mexico – https://www.niche.com/