Rio Grande Foundation Applauds Governor-Elect Martinez’s Bold Pick to Head Public Education Department

(Albuquerque) Governor-Elect Martinez faces a multitude of problems when she takes over from Bill Richardson, not the least of which is New Mexico’s struggling educational system.

Said Rio Grande Foundation President Paul Gessing, “Martinez’s pick of Hanna Skandera, who served as the deputy commissioner of education under Governor Jeb Bush, to head the PED, is a strong indicator that the successful reforms Florida enacted under Bush over the past 10 years will be emphasized under the Martinez Administration.”

“The fact that Martinez has named a strong reformer with ties to Jeb Bush is a good sign for New Mexico children and parents who are stuck in failing schools, yet face an ever-more competitive global economy,” continued Gessing.

The Rio Grande Foundation has been a leading proponent of education reform in New Mexico and brought the “Florida Model” to New Mexico during a series of events during the summer of 2010 and a policy paper entitled “Florida’s K-12 Lesson for New Mexico.”

As Gessing noted, “Florida’s students have seen dramatic improvements on tests like the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Back in 1998, before Bush’s reforms, New Mexico 4th graders performed at about the same level as Florida’s 4th graders on the reading portion of the test. As of the most recent NAEP test, Florida’s 4th graders outperform New Mexico’s by approximately two grade levels.”

“Florida’s Hispanics,” noted Gessing, “have seen particularly dramatic improvement with poor Hispanic 4th graders seeing the equivalent of three grade levels of improvement on the NAEP from 1998 to 2009. In fact, poor Hispanics in Florida now outperform New Mexico’s general student population.”

“New Mexico faces a long way to go just to bring student performance up to even the national average, but Martinez’s pick of Hanna Skandera to head up PED shows that she is serious about making needed reforms to our K-12 system. This is an early Christmas present to New Mexico parents and students.” concluded Gessing.

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4 Replies to “Rio Grande Foundation Applauds Governor-Elect Martinez’s Bold Pick to Head Public Education Department”

  1. Floridians in the know may disagree since they recently learned the 12th grade NAEP scores for their students were below the national average in both reading and math. Floridians also find our ACT and SAT scores wiping the floor. Florida’s dropout rate nears the top. Do your own research rather than rely on persons with political agendas. WHO wants this outcome for Christmas?

  2. No matter how one may feel about the educational system in New Mexico, we should agree on one thing, certainly: We can get this bad an education for a lot less than we are spending!

  3. Florida’s grade 12 NAEP scores were below the national average in both Reading and Math. Check the bottom for
    our ACT and SAT scores. These stats are accomplished with our multitude of A schools. Research the effect of our grade 3 retention policy on grade 4 NAEP scores. If you want to see where Florida excels, try researching our dropout statistics. Florida faces a pending lawsuit for low funding levels and failing to make education a paramount duty. You have a right to applaud as you wish but some may find it hard to understand the reason…unless it is a political agenda.

  4. I like the New Jersey model better. It’s see where that one goes while we decide where to start. All I know is that I am paying twice the property tax as my neighbor. (Thanks Lujan – HB 366). I say do more with the money we have or drill, baby, drill.

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