Award Year: 2013

Albuquerque Institute for Math & Science at UNM Charter School

933 Bradbury SE
Albuquerque, NM, 87106-4374

(505) 559-4249

Kathy Sandoval, Principal at time of Nomination

State of New Mexico Chartered School

School Website


Albuquerque Institute for Mathematics and Science @UNM is committed to preparing its students for college, community through a rigorous focus on math and science.

Student Demographics
  • Black/African American: 1%
  • White: 45%
  • Hispanic: 43%
  • Asian: 8%
  • Native American: 1%
  • Two or more races: 2%
  • Economically Disadvantaged: %

The Albuquerque Institute for Math and Science is a State Authorized Charter School, grades 6-12, with one goal; College Education. We have created a culture in which all of us, parents, teachers and students’, have a clear understanding of what defines excellence in our work. We accomplished this by being data driven. This was not always so.

As “incubators of innovation”, Charter schools can implement reform quickly and efficiently. We experienced this firsthand when we received our SBA scores on our incoming sixth graders six years ago. They were dismal!

After breaking down the scores and presenting the data, our teachers were devastated. Two teachers in particular, had students who were actually losing ground. We knew that it was time for a fundamental change in how we shape our students’ futures. We needed to measure and evaluate success in the most effective way possible.

Teachers were provided with constructive and data-based information about their impact in the classroom and received support to increase their effectiveness

Improvement in student learning was seen the very next year. In 2007, our incoming sixth graders had a math proficiency of 42 percent and a reading proficiency of 37 percent. Today as seniors, those same students are 100 percent proficient in both math and reading. The achievement gap has diminished from 38 percent in reading to 1 percent currently.

Hard conversations don’t scare us; we have the information and direction to improve. Accountability for student improvement isn’t about contention; it’s an invitation and opportunity to see what really works.

And those two devastated teachers? Today they are the schools most highly effective teachers in the classroom.