LOS ALAMOS, N.M. — The Los Alamos Public Schools board is facing heat for over a proposal aimed at protecting immigrant students amid fears of increased federal immigration enforcement. The proposed resolution calls for school employees not to keep any records showing that information after admission.
Suspension rates have plummeted, and every time the numbers go down, social-justice activists celebrate. This would be a happy story if schools were as safe as ever. But if they’re getting less safe, then activists are cheering on a twisted tragedy.
Are educators spending less time on teaching if they have students with disabilities in their classrooms? The answer, based on a survey of teachers from 38 countries, including the United States, is yes—but digging into the data reveals a complex picture that goes beyond inclusion. Across the world, for example, classes with a high percentage of students with disabilities also have teachers with less experience and less training, according to an international survey of teachers. Those classrooms also have higher percentages of students who have behavior problems reported by their teachers that may be separate from the presence of a disability.
For most youngsters, the foundation of a good education starts in kindergarten. Build that foundation right, and students’ chances of success throughout their school years are vastly improved. Recognizing the importance of regular attendance at all grade levels, Albuquerque Public Schools Superintendent Raquel Reedy has made attendance a top priority this year and kicked off a yearlong initiative to get “every student in class every day.”
New Mexico is ranked second again, behind Alaska, as the hardest state to count for census information. Nearly half of New Mexicans nearly 2.1 million residents live in areas where the U.S. Census Bureau has a particularly hard time counting the population — a larger proportion than any other state. Businesses also use information gathered in the census when deciding where to invest, what to pay their workers and even what they should stock on their store shelves.
Identity politics? Or identity crisis? If Americans are to mend the rupture in our country, we must begin to ask ourselves whether or not, despite our differences, can we find within ourselves an ability to compromise. As the most recent Pew Research shows, partisanship has been on the rise for the past two decades and accelerating more rapidly since 2004. If we as a people, as Americans, are to survive as a country, we must end the era of identity politics that seek to divide us and instead begin to view ourselves as as a unified people with a unified purpose.
Doña Ana County has stopped waiting on Santa Fe for a plan to ramp up early childhood education, and is creating a model that has the potential to work in the rest of New Mexico. The county has partnered with NM State University, creating a research center with NMSU's Center for Community Analysis to put hard data behind the effort to examine the reasons why many children aren’t receiving early education, which has been proven to help eliminate the achievement gap for low-income children and promote early brain development and significant improvement in personal relationships
New Mexico officials are reconsidering whether increasingly popular college-level classes taken by high school students warrant growing public subsidies. Students who pursue dual-credit coursework tend to have higher academic aptitudes that explain their superior college performance. The finding makes it unclear whether the early collegiate studies warrant annual state spending that has grown to $54 million.
New Mexico is seeing an increasing divide in the educational performance of its school districts, according to new statewide school grades released Tuesday. While districts like Farmington, Gadsden and Alamogordo no longer have any failing schools, 34 percent of Albuquerque’s schools received an F in the latest state report. “There is a growing disparity,” said acting secretary of education Christopher Ruszkowski. Some districts are rising to meet demands and others are not. Successful districts like Gadsden and Farmington are data-driven and believe that every child can learn, Ruszkowski said. Gov. Susana Martinez agreed that schools with strong participation in state reform programs are on the rise, “while those that refuse to make improvements for our kids continue to struggle.”
As the sixth week of a public education funding lawsuit comes to a close on Friday in Santa Fe, both sides are adamant: New Mexico’s schools say the state needs to spend more on public education. The state says schools just need to spend smarter. New Mexico places 48th in U.S. News Best States for education rankings. The state’s high school graduation rate of 71 percent in 2016 was a record high for New Mexico, but still significantly lower than the national average, and New Mexico students have some of the worst reading and math scores in the nation.