The frustration of New Mexico education reform

I got the call about 7pm last night from the folks at the Hispanic Leadership Network: Paul, we need you to be on a panel about education reform tomorrow morning. Rep. Espinoza is going to be stuck in Santa Fe finishing up the legislative session.

So, I put together a few thoughts on the sorry state of education in New Mexico and added a conclusion that emphasizes the vast potential of virtual education to transform education for the better in New Mexico and nationwide.

Unfortunately, not all the education news today was good. As this opinion piece from today’s Albuquerque Journal points out, “the usual suspects have again killed any progress that will benefit this state in regard to the improvement of our schools.” In this case, the issue is 3rd grade social promotion which appears to be dead in the Special. As the opinion piece continues, “When 80 percent of your fourth-grade students cannot read at a proficient level, your school system is in crisis – yet no one in the traditional education camp is ringing any alarm bells.”

Ironically, Sec. Skandera had to send a replacement to the Conference today as well. She is in Washington meeting with President Obama who, while not where I’d want him to be on education reform, has a more reform-minded outlook than the “usual suspects” here in New Mexico.