Leslie Linthcum’s Education Jihad

I’m not sure where Leslie Linthicum was during the eight years of the Richardson Administration when education spending skyrocketed and graduation rates actually declined in New Mexico (while rising nationwide), but she has turned her “Upfront” column into a platform for attacking the Martinez Administration’s education reforms. Today’s represents her third straight column attacking either PED Secretary Skandera or some aspect of Florida’s successful education reforms.

Today’s column was an attack on Florida’s 3rd grade retention policy which is ONE COMPONENT of the comprehensive Florida model. She cites numerous studies on the topic and concludes that the retention model is a failure in Florida and will fail here in New Mexico. Of course, other studies suggest otherwise.

If the extent of Martinez’s plans for education reform was simply to expand retention, I’d be in agreement with Linthicum, but the Florida reforms took time (six or so years) to implement and start working and there were several facets to the program. We need to walk before we can run. Give Martinez and Skandera a chance to implement their agenda!

If you want to see the raw data that show Florida’s success in math, science, and reading, check out the NAEP score data here and compare them with New Mexico’s results over the same time period.

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