For Dems, Lt. Governor race is still a toss-up, but GOP and Libs are locked in

ProgressNow New Mexico will be looking at some top-level races more in-depth over the next few weeks to bring our perspective to the key races we’re expecting to see in New Mexico this year. New Mexico is in the national spotlight as one of the “most likely to flip” states in terms of our governor’s race. Our series will focus on the offices that New Mexicans can vote for statewide. This is the third piece in our series. The position of Lt. Governor can seem pretty inglorious compared to other statewide positions with specific duties as Secretary of State or Attorney General.

#4 – Top 5 Martinez blunders as we approach another legislative session

This one hits particularly close to home, as our state’s young people are the root of the positive changes we should expect and hope for in the state we love. In September of last year, while legislators again tried to incorporate Next Generation Science Standards to improve educational outcomes for students across the state, the Governor released her own version of the standards, ignoring common sense, national education best practices, and the will of educators and parents in every corner of New Mexico.

PED Sec: US legacy of racist “Manifest Destiny” justifies charter schools… What?

This weekend, the Albuquerque Journal reported that the New Mexico Public Education Secretary-designate Christopher Ruszkowski pointed to the racist concept of “Manifest Destiny” as a “fundamental principle” of United States history, and utilized it to promote controversial plans to close public schools in favor of more charter schools in the state. “This is a country built over the last 250 years on things like freedom, choice, competition, options, going west, Manifest Destiny – these are the fundamental principles of this country,” he said.” That’s why charter schools make so much sense – high-quality options – in the context of where we are as a country.” Here is the historical definition and explanation of Manifest Destiny:
“Manifest Destiny is a term for the attitude prevalent during the 19th century period of American expansion that the United States not only could, but was destined to, stretch from coast to coast. This attitude helped fuel western settlement, Native American removal and war with Mexico.

Evolution? Climate Change? Science? New NMPED curriculum replaces science with ideology

According to the Albuquerque Journal, the New Mexico Education Department rolled out new proposed teaching standards, last week. Among said standards was a set for Science proposed nationally in 2013, by 26 other states. These standards are known as the “Next Generation of Science” standards.

Fast forward to last week, and Governor Martinez and her administration are choosing to edit, and then implement these proposed standards in New Mexico public schools. The edits suggested from the Martinez administration are poised to remove references to climate change and evolution along with forgetting about the age of this round ball we live on called Earth.

SB182, bill to sell off public lands dies in committee! Send a quick thank you to Sen. Papen for pulling her bill

Earlier this week we asked you to reach out to Sen. Mary Kay Papen and ask her to pull her bill SB 182 which would have laid the groundwork for public lands in New Mexico to be sold off. You listened and you responded. Over 370 people sent emails and countless more signed, shared, and posted our call to action.
And today, Senator Papen gave a brief statement to the Senate Education committee (where she referenced all the input she’d received) and asked that the bill be tabled. SB 182 has now died in committee!

*Update on Las Cruces school bus drivers*

Las Cruces Public Schools Withdraws Restraining Order against Union Bus Drivers
From AFT press release

April8, 2016

American Federation of Teachers New Mexico President Stephanie Ly and Las Cruces Transportation Federation #6341 President Marcos Torres released the following statement:

“It is welcome news that the Las Cruces Public Schools Board has voluntarily withdrawn its motion for a preliminary injunction to prevent a strike by the members of LCTF #6341. In addition to withdrawing its motion, the LCPS Board has also vacated its temporary restraining order, and the courts have dismissed the lawsuit in its entirety. This is a victory for the rights of our members and organized labor across New Mexico. The right to strike over labor disputes is guaranteed by the National Labor Relations Act, and we feel that any lawsuit attempting to curtail this right represents a grave injustice to our ability to negotiate safer conditions for our students and better policies for STS-NM employees. We renew our call for parents, community members, and the Las Cruces Public Schools Board to continue to pressure STS-NM to improve its policies on safety for our students and to create policies which attract and retain the best equipment operators possible.