New Mexico is seeing higher graduation rates and more students are reading at grade level thanks to reforms made over the past several years, but a top state education official says the demands of public education are evolving and schools need to be prepared. New Mexico's new SEcretary of Education says one of his major priorities will be reforming and improving teacher preparation to ensure students are learning in a way that will allow them to compete in a more modern, global economy.
Many studies of education in the U.S. have shown New Mexico to be at or near the bottom when compared to other states. Lack of an educated workforce leads to a weak economy and tax base. Many argue that it is because schools lack funding, but the state's history of throwing money at it until it goes away hasn't seemed to work. Perhaps it is time to try a different approach?
In this editorial, Victor Davis Hanson outlines the problems universities have brought on themselves by pandering to the proverbially delicate "snowflakes" who did not receive the education they should have in college. Universities are now scrambling to offer university credit for what are in truth remedial high school courses, apparently to prevent eager, but entirely unprepared, students from hurt feelings when they butt up against the reality of college classes.
According to the latest "Building a Grad Nation" study, New Mexico holds the 2015 worst graduation rate. New Mexico stands out in the study with a graduation rate of 69%, no other state fell under 70%. Jennifer DePaoli, co-author of "Building a Grad Nation", has said the biggest issue New Mexico has to contend with is the significant number of low-income students.
Last week, APS first cut its summer K-3 Plus program that gives the district’s youngest struggling students an extra month of math and reading instruction in the summer. Then Friday it kept the 7/5 high school schedule that gives high school teachers a second planning period every day over a 7/6 schedule that puts students with their core-subject teachers more often. Such moves fit in with a mentality that seems to prioritize adult wants over student needs.
Currently, six of seven APS board members are backed by the district's teacher union. In the most recent election, the Albuquerque Teachers Federation contributed $5,000 to each of it's favorites, helping make them the best-funded candidates in the race. According to the Bernalillo County Clerk’s Office, about 18,000 people cast ballots in the last APS board election – 6.6 % turnout.
“The reality is that the more that colleges devote themselves to creating safe spaces, that new campus watchword, the more dangerous campuses have become for professors, and the less education itself becomes anyone’s priority." Also read 'Open Dialogue Needed' in our education section.
The Abq Journal published an article that addresses freedom of speech and maintaining an open dialogue uninhibited by threats at universities. Without free speech on college campuses many colleges would not be able to provide a fundamental variety of viewpoints imperative to the higher education experience.
APS cut junior high athletics to save $600,000 but has increased the highly paid staff. According to PED, the district now has 35 “top bureaucrats,” with six-figure salaries – adding up to roughly $4 million. The ABQ Journal has published a list of these bureaucrats in the following article.
The latest oil and gas lease sale has netted nearly $4 million for public schools and other beneficiaries. 90 percent of the revenues earned from oil and gas activity go toward teacher slalries, books and education infrastructure.