State Representative Joanne Ferrary experienced her first success in passing a bill she carried to the House Floor on Monday night. Ferrary a progressive State Representative worked incredibly hard to gain bipartisan support for House Bill 185.
Rep. Steve Pearce is at it again, this time meddling in the nonpartisan Albuquerque Public Schools and Central New Mexico Community College elections. This week Albuquerque Republicans began receiving a robocall from Pearce instructing them to vote for Republican candidates in their district in the upcoming February 7 election, so Republicans can take back the public school system in Albuquerque. After receiving several tips about the calls, ProgressNow New Mexico’s researchers were able to contact a Republican voter in Albuquerque who did not approve of Pearce’s – whose southern New Mexico Congressional doesn’t cover Albuquerque – intrusion into APS and CNM matters. The calls were traced to Republican Party Headquarters in Albuquerque. Staff at the party confirmed the calls.
Red River, and Raton, and Farmington, and Hobbs, oh my! People came from near and far on January 7th, for ProgressNow NM’s first ever, Progressive Action Summit. The Summit was a jam packed day of exactly that – action. If you weren’t able to be with us, you might be wondering what happened:
22 Community Organizations: delivered presentations, workshops or panels, concerning and or addressing current and or proposed legislation, while gathering awareness and support around their issue. 22 Elected Officials: gave time out of their day to participate, present, engage with and respond to citizens and leaders from our communities.
The U.S. Department of Education, Policy and Program Studies Service released a brief examining State and Local Expenditures on Corrections and Education in the last 33 years and the statistics are terrifying. Barbara Petersen, APS Board Member, notes “New Mexico is second only to Texas in the difference between the increase in prison spending to education spending, 668 percentage points difference in the increases in Texas, 602 percentage points difference in the increases in New Mexico.” “Over the last three decades, state and local corrections expenditures has increased three times faster than spending on elementary and secondary education” (p. 5). From 1979 to 2013, New Mexico:
state and local corrections current expenditures and public PK–12 current expenditures had a 602% difference in percent change (p.
Five years after Susana Martinez and Hanna Skandera promised New Mexicans they would bring “bold education reform” (see the press release here) to New Mexico, the results are in. In the 2016 Kids Count report released today by NM Voices for Children, New Mexico fell to the bottom of the list – 50th in the nation – in education and child poverty. For more than a decade, Voices for Children and the Annie E. Casey Foundation have tracked various social metrics measuring child wellbeing in every state in the country. While child wellbeing rankings has improved slightly over the past decades, much of that progress has been outshined by other states who have made faster and more impactful progress than New Mexico. Other issues, including access to healthcare, have improved thanks to Medicaid expansion, for example.
Students statewide walkout in protest of new tests. Here’s everything you need to know and the schools where that is happening.
Students across New Mexico are planning to walkout of classes Monday en masse to protest high-stakes standardized testing they say have little or no correlation to curriculum in the classroom but are closely connected to teacher evaluations and place their own graduation opportunities in jeopardy. And many of these students have support from parents, educators and elected officials statewide. First, take a moment to hear from the students themselves. The anxiety over these tests is palpable. Students in a media arts class at Washington Middle School made a YouTube video that has been making the rounds:
These students explain it better than any policy wonk or bureaucrat so far.
New Mexico is in the midst of a high-stakes testing showdown and its not just playing out between politicians in the Roundhouse. You see, every time a student takes a new high-stakes test, an out-of-state company makes a profit. And they are making a lot of profit on New Mexico kids. To catch up on the debate raging (and about to get bigger) around NM testing, here’s what you need to know:
When Susana Martinez took office in 2011, she appointed Jeb Bush’s education chief, Hanna Skandera, to lead New Mexico’s public education department, even though she had never taught a day in a classroom. What Skandera does know about education comes from her time on the board of several organizations which push standardized testing.
With all of the confusion over high-stakes testing set to begin the first week of March in New Mexico, it is refreshing to see at least one school district giving parents the facts and the choice to opt them out of testing that turns kids into profit centers. From Ruidoso Municipal Schools Superintendent, Dr. George Bickert:
“parents have always had and will continue to have the parental option to have their child(ren) “opt out” of testing. If you chose to have your child “opt out,” you will not be discouraged in any way by this district, as is your parental right.” Click on the pages to read the full letter sent home to parents. If only every New Mexico school district were so forthcoming.
Senate Rules Committee votes against Skandera confirmation; Follow-up vote stalls confirmation in committee
The Senate Rules Committee voted along party lines against the confirmation of Governor Martinez’s embattled Public Education Secretary-designate, Hanna Skandera. A follow-up vote to move her confirmation forward to the full Senate without committee recommendation failed in a tied vote with Democrat Clemente Sanchez voting with Republicans. The confirmation is now stalled in committee, allowing Skandera to continue serving in an unconfirmed status. The full Senate could hold a vote only if a majority of members vote to remove the matter from the Rules committee.
Thousands of educators rallied in Santa Fe on the last weekend of the Legislative session to oppose Governor Martinez’s pro-testing education agenda. Check out a few of the news reports below. KOAT-ABQ (ABC)2/15/2014 6:03:19 AM
Action 7 News Live This Morning Saturday
Local Viewership: 70,102
Local Publicity Value: $1,048.13
the new chief, and hopes to continue the positive relationship it shared with chiefs schultz and banks. happening today … the national education association of new mexico will hold a rally at the roundhouse.
No Apple for Skandera: Teachers tell her why she’s wrong, wrong, wrong
By Peter Moulson, Special Correspondent
When the conservative Albuquerque Journal reports that “a nonpartisan group of scientists and mathematicians says New Mexico’s new A-F school grading system is too complex for most people to understand, including principals and superintendents”, one has to pause. According to the syndicated article “The group, called the Coalition for Excellence in Science and Math Education, is a nonprofit with several hundred members. It has been active in New Mexico since 1997, and its mission is to “improve science education and science literacy for all citizens,” according to its website.
Adding oranges and cows to derive pickup trucks
“The coalition’s report also questioned whether it is mathematically appropriate to add different measures together. Specifically, the A-F grades use simple measures of how many students are scoring at the “proficient” level, which are added to measures of how much students are improving.