New Mexico students miss a third of instructional time

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) – A survey of available instruction time at public schools in New Mexico has found that almost a third of the hours are lost to a combination of standardized assessments, test preparation, re-teaching distracted students, absences and disciplinary actions.

Staff at the Legislative Finance Committee announced the findings Tuesday at the state capitol. They found that late starts, recess and subsidized breakfasts also offset instructional time while being counted as productive learning hours.

Elementary students lose well over a third of instructional time, while their school year can be nearly 10 percent shorter.

New Mexico has increased teaching time in high-poverty schools by extending the school year for 25 days in Kindergarten through third grade. More than 19,000 students participate.

About 340,000 students are enrolled in New Mexico public schools. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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