Martinez wins battle with APS…more battles with the bureaucracy/status quo please!

A small victory was gained this week for truth and justice when Albuquerque Public Schools decided to restore middle school athletics. Regardless of one’s perspective on whether middle school sports is a “core” function of the education system, the fact that APS was trying to blame “inadequate resources” for cutbacks was a sham (as the Rio Grande Foundation pointed out).

What can we take away from this controversy? For starters, “business as usual” cannot continue at APS. It needs to be challenged for the good of our children and due to New Mexico’s sluggish economy and poor performance. We are spending too much to get too little from our State’s largest school district.

Another lesson I’d like to hammer home is that Gov. Martinez finally stood on principle on exactly the right kind of issue. Her previous hard-line stances on drivers licenses and teacher evaluations were on shaky ground (both politically and policy-wise), but in calling out APS, Martinez had the data and the moral high ground. She won. If only she had done this more often and more consistently on issues critical to turning New Mexico’s economy around.

She may be a “lame duck,” but this battle clearly showed that Martinez still has some fight in her. Now to make the principled case against raising taxes in an already struggling economy….



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4 Replies to “Martinez wins battle with APS…more battles with the bureaucracy/status quo please!”

  1. NM needs to amend its state constitution to permit voter initiated ballot measures to force change that Dem legislators do not want. Here is the language from the California Constitution :
    Article 2
    Sec. 8.
    (a) The initiative is the power of the electors to propose statutes and
    amendments to the Constitution and to adopt or reject them.
    (b) An initiative measure may be proposed by presenting to the Secretary
    of State a petition that sets forth the text of the proposed statute or
    amendment to the Constitution and is certified to have been signed by
    electors equal in number to 5 percent in the case of a statute, and 8
    percent in the case of an amendment to the Constitution, of the votes for
    all candidates for Governor at the last gubernatorial election.
    (c) The Secretary of State shall then submit the measure at the next
    general election held at least 131 days after it qualifies or at any special
    statewide election held prior to that general election. The Governor may
    call a special statewide election for the measure.
    (d) An initiative measure embracing more than one subject may not be
    submitted to the electors or have any effect.
    (e) An initiative measure shall not include or exclude any political
    subdivision of the State from the application or effect of its provisions
    based upon approval or disapproval of the initiative measure, or based
    upon the casting of a specified percentage of votes in favor of the
    measure, by the electors of that political subdivision.
    (f) An initiative measure shall not contain alternative or cumulative
    provisions wherein one or more of those provisions would become law
    depending upon the casting of a specified percentage of votes for or
    against the measure.

  2. Does New Mexico have a process for state takeovers of failing school systems? With a majority of school board members and the superintendent endorsed by the teachers’ union, APS will not reform on its own.

  3. This IS very good news. And I agree with James, New Mexico should have a system for state takeovers of failed school systems. In the 11 years I have lived here, nothing has improved, even the simple things that could be remedied seem to get worse. I don’t agree with Charles that we should have a ballot initiative process. Too often measures are constructed that are so confusing to voters and people end up voting for things that they think they are voting against. Los Angeles, CA had a voter info packet last election that was around 200 pages long!!!

  4. In no way is the concept of inter-school sports appropriate at middle-school level (Grades 6-9, properly); limited intra-murals possibly OK.

    Good arguments are made against some sports at high school, given the general lack of training and knowledge of so many “coaches”, and the permanent physical and neurological results to the kids. Especially as so much of it results in a form of bullying.

    As for me, give me a heavy bag to work on; with extensive practice, I know when I hit something, it stays hit.

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