Universal Pre-K: New Mexico’s Bold Next Step

Last week, we asked our readers their opinion about every three and four year old having access to high-quality, universal pre-k. Responses indicated that high quality, universal pre-k is not only a priority for families with young children, but it is also of importance to our community as a whole, providing a strong, educational foundation for future generations as well as an opportunity for New Mexico to improve pay for pre-k teachers, many of whom utilize food stamps and Medicaid to help make ends meet. 

Our readers wrote to us with their pre-k stories- both the good and the bad, a reflection of the current state of our pre-k system. Some readers talked about the ways in which the pre-k system helped ready their own children for school, while educators chimed in about the difference they were able to see when a child has attended pre-k. Others, frustrated with the system, talked about the never-ending wait-lists, the lottery system that only serves a small portion of the population of three and four year olds, and the shameful pay that keeps some pre-k educators living in poverty. However troublesome, these stories are not new.

*URGENT* Don’t let education access be limited by age in New Mexico!

We just sent this email out to all our members. Please follow the links below and contact your legislator NOW! Dear Friend,

Today, a major piece of education legislation is being heard at the Roundhouse. HB 5 and companion bill SB 1, aim to make sweeping changes to the way public education is funding in New Mexico. These bills make significant strides toward improving our public education system particularly after years of our schools being neglected by those in power.

Justice for NM students! Gov. Martinez loses education funding lawsuit, forced to sufficiently fund schools [UPDATED]

 

[UPDATE: Gov. Martinez’s Public Education Department has said they will appeal the judge’s decision that the state is required to provide more funding to students in NM. Gubernatorial candidate Michelle Lujan Grisham has said she will halt any appeal of the decision Gov. Martinez makes if she’s elected Governor. Steve Pearce has yet to make a similar determination. Read about it at NM In Depth.]

In a devastating rebuke to the failed education and funding policies of Gov. Susana Martinez (along with her conservative allies like the Rio Grande Foundation and conservative Democrats like Sen. John Arthur Smith), First Judicial District Court Judge Sarah Singleton handed down a huge win for New Mexico’s students Friday. You can’t put it more succinctly than the first line of the ABQ Journal’s article: “New Mexico is violating the constitutional rights of at-risk students by failing to provide them with a sufficient education.”

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.