New Mexico Senator Mimi Stewart (New Mexico’s most effective legislator) spoke at a conference recently and had some harsh and stark words regarding New Mexico’s efforts to attempt to educate its children.
According to news reports, Stewart bluntly stated, “We don’t know how to teach kids from poverty.” And, “They come with no skills — well, they have street-fighting skills. They’ve got a lot of skills; they’re just not academic skills.”
There is a lot we can agree with Stewart on in her initial statement. New Mexico has indeed failed to teach its children from poverty or otherwise. The kind of poor performance SCREAMS for school choice and an innovative approach to education reform, but this is exactly the kind of reform that the effective Stewart and her allies in the unions have put a stop to repeatedly.
Stewart of course did gripe about funding and claimed that “New Mexico set high standards but has failed to provide enough funding to reach them.” This is of course nothing new, but as fellow Democrat John Arthur-Smith testified recently (and we at the Rio Grande Foundation have repeatedly pointed out), New Mexico’s education system is NOT starved for cash.
If only Stewart and the other politicians in this State would accept the fact that government diktats from Santa Fe and Washington, DC are the problem, not the solution to what ails our education system in New Mexico and around the nation. Radically-expanded school choice would be a great start. So would a realization that there are many alternatives to government owned and operated schools when it comes to educating our kids.
8 Replies to “Sen. Mimi Stewart has a point: NM’s government isn’t great at teaching…anyone’s kids”
But parçc scores were up in a few pet project districts. Weve paid Pearson ed tens of millions on data systems and testing and textbooks and when a dem becomes governor this will continue. Were doomed
The pattern that is emerging is that test scores are improving in school districts that have embraced the PED’s reforms (including some high-poverty districts) and not improving in districts such as APS that have resisted reform.
The critical element is accountability: grading schools, evaluating teachers, and expanding school choice. Ending social promotion would have further increased accountability. It’s even possible that the government can educate impoverished children if their parents are held accountable by tying welfare benefits to school attendance.
Unfortunately, the likelihood of a Dem governor means that New Mexico’s school system will revert to unaccountable union control.
just look at some charter schools that were doomed to fail because of pushback from the ped and pec(i think)
look at estancia preparatory classic school and the fight they have and they smoked almost every school district and state averages by huge margins on the recent parcc scores.
no end in sight….
yes, its a doomed system of pearson getting the lions share of the funds. both parties have sharks looking for more
Why is no one looking at Think New Mexico’s well-researched, small schools initiative that was proposed years ago to improve schools and cut costs? I believe the small schools proposal is one of the few initiatives they have failed to get approved. To me (an experienced teacher and parent), making schools smaller would have the greatest positive impact on our state. http://www.thinknewmexico.org/smaller-schools/
NM has a small schools preference built into the funding formula. We’re generally supportive of smaller schools, but the problem is NM’s state-wide funding formula which removes accountability (and funding responsibility) from locals and sends it off to Santa Fe where the educrats manipulate the system.
Wow, and from the mouth of a NM Anglo Democrat (…dat’s raciss!)
“According to news reports, Stewart bluntly stated, “We don’t know how to teach kids from poverty.” And, “They come with no skills — well, they have street-fighting skills. They’ve got a lot of skills; they’re just not academic skills.”
wonder how much longer they’ll keep her around?
Poverty is always one of the excuses trotted out for sub par student performance. But what about the boat people who came from Southeast Asia after the end of the Vietnam war and for decades from Castro’s Cuba. Both groups arrived with little more than the clothing on their backs but , within one generation, became attorneys, doctors and engineers in disproportionate numbers? They did so through education. Despite their starting poverty, they came from families and/or cultures that valued and stressed education. I think this example demonstrates that culture – not poverty – is the primary determinant in education success.