Teach Plus’s “Growing Outcomes Through Innovation” Report and Convening Spotlight Innovative School Practices With Potential to Improve Teaching and Learning for New Mexico’s Students

Teach Plus’s “Growing Outcomes Through Innovation” Report and Convening Spotlight Innovative School Practices With Potential to Improve Teaching and Learning for New Mexico’s Students

School innovations include individualized instruction for students; targeted support for teachers; and active engagement of families and communities

Albuquerque, NM, July 14, 2023—According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) results, many more students in New Mexico scored below basic in 2022 than in 2019 and more than half of New Mexico’s 4th grade students scored below basic in reading. Today, school and systems leaders from across New Mexico gather for Teach Plus’s #NMOutcomesThroughInnovation convening to hear from seven public schools across the state whose innovative approaches, rooted in their communities’ needs, are transforming how students learn. The schools’ innovations in instructional practice, support systems, and family and community engagement, along with the recommendations for the innovations’ adoptions, are outlined in Teach Plus’s new report, “Growing Outcomes Through Innovation: Instruction, Support, and Engagement.”

“Innovative approaches are key to closing the opportunity gap for all our students. With the challenges New Mexico’s students face post-pandemic, learning about and replicating these innovations across our schools and districts is more important than ever,” said Hope Morales, Teach Plus New Mexico Executive Director. “We hope that today’s convening and our report lead to more school and systems leaders adopting bold innovations so that more students have access to tools that meet their specific needs and the needs of their communities.”

For the 2023 convening and the accompanying report, the second in Teach Plus’s innovation series, Teach Plus identified seven innovative schools in three categories:

  • Innovative instructional practices: Practices focused on student-centered, individualized instruction designed to increase student engagement and ownership of their learning. Schools are Gallup High School, Loma Linda Elementary, VOZ Collegiate Preparatory Charter School.
  • Innovative support systems: Systems focused on developing effective educators and providing differentiated, targeted support based on teachers’ needs. Schools are Gilbert Sena Charter High School, Mesa Middle School.
  • Innovative family or community engagement practices: Practices that move beyond opportunities for passive involvement to active and consistent engagement of families and communities in contributing to students’ learning and shaping the school community. Schools are Amy Biehl High School, Chaparral Elementary, VOZ Collegiate Preparatory Charter School.

“Demographics should not predict our students’ destiny, which is why our innovations, focused on college and career success, begin in 6th grade. Part of our approach is that every class and opportunity mimic the research-based environment of a higher-learning institution,” said Isaac Rivas-Savell, Director and Founder of Voz Collegiate Preparatory which Teach Plus recognized in two categories: innovative instruction and community engagement practices.

“Our goal is to ensure that every New Mexico student receives high-quality instruction, has an exceptional teacher in the classroom to guide their learning, and is deeply connected to their family and community to increase their achievement. This is why we focused our innovation work on holistically understanding New Mexico’s students and communities and listening to the teachers who serve them on a daily basis,” said Aimee Parra, Teach Plus New Mexico Network Coordinator who assisted on the report.

The #NMOutcomesThroughInnovation convening kicks off with a keynote from Teach Plus CEO KIra Orange Jones. From noon to 5:30 p.m., representatives from the seven schools present their innovations at breakout sessions where attendees have the opportunity to ask questions, do a deep dive into each strategy, and consider how they might implement it in their own school.

During the evening portion of the convening, attendees gather for dinner and a special welcome from Howie Morales, New Mexico Lt. Governor. The highlight of the evening is a panel discussion on the imperative of innovation, with panelists Amanda Aragon, Executive Director, NMKidsCan; Jonathan Johnson, Founder and CEO, Rooted School Foundation; Dr. Kim Lanoy-Sandoval, Deputy Director, Future Focused Education; Matt Montano, Superintendent, Bernalillo Public Schools; Gwen Perea-Warniment, Director, Legislative Education Study Committee; and Jessica Sanders, New Mexico 2019 Teacher of the Year. The panel is moderated by Teach Plus CEO Kira Orange Jones. The evening also includes a celebration of the seven innovative schools.

About Teach Plus
The mission of Teach Plus is to empower excellent, experienced, and diverse teachers to take leadership over key policy and practice issues that affect their students’ success. In pursuing this mission, Teach Plus is guided by the Student Opportunity Mandate: All students should have the opportunity to achieve their potential in an education system defined by its commitment to equity, its responsiveness to individual needs, and its ability to prepare students for postsecondary success. teachplus.org


CONTACT: Anya Grottel-Brown
(917) 902-5902, agrottelbrown@teachplus.org