The 6 Worst Schools In New Mexico Today

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The 6 Worst Schools In New Mexico Today

New Mexico is a beautiful state with a rich history, but the state's public education has been struggling for many years. Unfortunately, New Mexico's public education system has consistently ranked in the bottom ten states in the United States. According to recent data, students in many schools in New Mexico are not performing well in math, reading, and science subjects compared to the national average. Also, these students are not receiving sufficient preparation for higher education, as they often score poorly on the ACT and SAT exams.

Sadly, many low-income school districts receive significantly less funding per student compared to more affluent districts. This funding gap can be as high as $6,700 per pupil. Currently, school districts in New Mexico rank as the 15th least equitable in the United States. In addition to students performing poorly on tests and college preparedness, most of the schools on this list are located in underfunded New Mexico school districts.

Public Education in New Mexico: An Overview

Forbes Magazine recently published a report stating that despite recent financial investments in its public education, New Mexico ranks second-to-last in the country, with only Oklahoma performing worse. The report also highlights New Mexico's poor performance in standardized testing, with just 19.12% of fourth-grade students demonstrating proficiency or higher in reading and 20.97% achieving the same in math.

Additionally, performance rates through eighth grade dropped by 6.43% in math and 2.54% in reading. New Mexico also has the lowest average SAT scores of any state. Furthermore, it ranked last for demonstrating proficiency in math and reading for both fourth and eighth grades.

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One study reveals that New Mexico has the lowest SAT scores of any state.


Ace Leadership High School

1240 Bellamah Avenue NW, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87104

Grades: 9-12

ACE Leadership High School is a public charter school located in Albuquerque, New Mexico. This school serves students in grades nine through twelve and has a student-teacher ratio of sixteen to one. However, the state test scores indicate that only five percent of students are proficient in both math and reading. Only 35 percent of students graduate from this high school. Finally, Ace Leadership ranks at the bottom of both New Mexico's high schools and Albuquerque Metro Public High Schools.

Carlsbad High School

3000 West Church, Carlsbad, New Mexico 88220

Carlsbad High School is a rural school that serves grades nine through twelve. Only nine percent of students are proficient in Math, and twenty-six percent show reading proficiency. College preparedness is lacking. Only 13 percent of students passed at least one AP exam. Additionally, this school has an abysmal graduation rate of 63 percent. As a result, this school has made our list of worst-performing schools.

Century Alt High School

32 Sun Valley Road, Los Lunas, New Mexico 87031

Century Alt High School is a small suburban public high school located in Los Lunas, New Mexico. This school is one of three operated by the Los Lunas Public Schools district. The student body at this school predominantly comprises minority students, accounting for eighty-seven percent. Moreover, all students come from low-income families, meaning they are economically disadvantaged.

Underserved students at this school are falling far behind other students in the state. This achievement gap is evident in the school's abysmal test scores. In math, reading, and science, only four percent of students scored proficiency, which is astonishingly low. Moreover, only 42 percent of students graduate. So, it is not a surprise that college preparedness is extremely low, with only six percent of students taking AP classes. With these numbers, it is no surprise that this high school is frequently cited as one of the worst-performing schools in the state.

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School rankings are partially based on graduation rates and college preparedness scores, and lower scores result in lower rankings.

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Cesar Chavez Community School

1325 Palomas Drive SE, Albuquerque, New Mexico 81708

Another high school that is failing to serve disadvantaged students is Cesar Chavez Community School, where the students are falling behind at an alarming rate compared to other schools. Only eight percent of students are proficient in reading. Moreover, only five percent of students are proficient in math. The school graduates only 45 percent of its students.

According to a recent poll, parents and students have expressed their dissatisfaction with this high school's poor performance. The survey revealed that only 67 percent of teachers provide challenging lessons, and parents and students believe that the teachers lack control of the classrooms. Additionally, they feel that only 67 percent of teachers genuinely care about their students. Due to these negative reviews and its low test scores, this high school has been included in our list of the worst schools.

Colleges and Universities

New Mexico ranks twenty-fourth in the nation for higher education, an improvement from the state's 50th ranking for public education. However, some colleges in New Mexico rank as some of the worst in the country. The ranking of colleges and universities is based on standard criteria that evaluate factors such as graduation rate, average student debt, median starting income, and annual cost. Based on these criteria, here are two of the worst universities in New Mexico today.

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Poorly rated universities often lead to students graduating with high levels of student loan debt and limited career opportunities.

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New Mexico State University

Box 30001, MSC 3004, Las Cruces, NM, 88003

New Mexico State University sits on a 900-acre campus and serves over 15,000 students. It has a diverse student population across the state, with five campuses, a satellite learning center in Albuquerque, and twelve agriculture research and science centers.

This university also has small class sizes and low tuition. However, it has a low graduation rate of only twenty-nine percent. The average six-year graduation rate is even lower at sixteen percent. Graduating students have a median starting salary of $24,800. However, they also tend to have around $20,000 in student debt at graduation. While this university does get good scores in student life and is currently rated as Niche's top party school in New Mexico, prospective students may want to consider other options.

University of the Southwest

6610 North Lovington Highway, Hobbs, NM 88240

The University of the Southwest, a private Christian university located in Hobbs, New Mexico, was founded in 1956. It currently enrolls around 1,000 students. Despite its long history, the college has the reputation of being one of the worst colleges in New Mexico. As a result, it frequently appears on lists of New Mexico's worst schools.

Despite accepting all applicants, the university has a graduation rate of only nine percent, much lower than the national average of forty-nine percent. Additionally, compared to other colleges and universities in the area, its tuition fees are high. Moreover, upon graduation, the average student incurs a debt of $23,112. Unfortunately, the median earnings after graduation are only $24,800 per year, which will make it difficult to pay off those student loans.

According to Niche, the school receives an A for diversity and safety. However, they say the overall value and student life rates a grade of C. The campus itself rates a D grade. Due to these grades, combined with its graduation rates and post-graduate salaries, the University of the Southwest is one of the worst universities in the state. 

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The University of the Southwest has a low graduation rate and poor campus and student life rankings.

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In Summary

The quality of education in New Mexico consistently ranks among the lowest-performing states. The state's public education system has serious issues, especially in its lowest-performing high schools and colleges. Student proficiency levels in math, reading, and science at these schools are in the single digits.

This lack of proficiency results in unprepared students entering college or the workforce. Additionally, universities with the lowest rankings tend to have low graduation rates, high student debt post-graduation, and low median salaries once students enter the workforce. Consequently, the schools on our list are among the worst in New Mexico and the entire country.

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