Secretary Designate for Education, Hanna Skandera, has been under attack by the status quo crowd (led by the unions) since day one. Why? She supports reforms to our educational system — like charter schools, digital learning, A-F grading of schools, elimination of social promotion, and “pay for teacher performance” that upset the status quo.
This issue is about to come to a head as confirmation hearings have been scheduled in the Senate Rules Committee. Skandera has been performing the role as “Secretary Designate” as no confirmation hearings have been held, but we believe that opponents of education reform are looking to oust Skandera from her job by getting a “No” vote on the Senate floor.
Skandera’s approval of a “virtual” charter school of which I am on the board may have been the final straw, but there is no doubt that the unions and the establishment that have given us a 49th in the nation education system are gearing up to defend their turf (this has nothing to do with educating our kids, of course).
It is time for New Mexicans who support increasing the number of educational options available to step up and make themselves heard. Let the members of Senate Rules know what you think. Let your senator know that you support Skandera’s efforts to reform education in New Mexico. The initial hearing is this Friday morning at 8:30am with a vote on the senate floor likely to occur in the days ahead.
Update: check out this story from reporter Rob Nikolewski on Skandera and US Education Secretary not having “classroom experience.” I actually disagree with the assessment that Skandera is not a “qualified, experienced educator” as required in the Constitution.
According to her bio: “taught Education Policy at Pepperdine University’s Graduate School of Public Policy.”
So, in order to teach in New Mexico, you can be at APS or Cobre, but Pepperdine doesn’t cut it?
5 Replies to “Step up for Skandera”
So we bitch that Obama violates and disregards our “the US Constioution” when it served his socialist agenda but it is the right thing for us to do when it served OUR purpose? Hiw does that make Gov. Martinez ir us any more honorable or just than President Obama? Most Progressive Socialists have tons of political and college teaching experience but no hands on experience. We have all seen how effective that has turnef out. Does Sjandara fit this mould but she is “ok” because she is Martinez’s choice?
Get off it. The opposition to Skandera comes from many people with many perspectives, not just the status quo crown. And change for change’s sake is not a rational approach to anyone’s idea of a sound basis for public policy. The merits of her proposals raise serious questions, lack reliable and persuasive support, and–I find this fact the greatest indictment–reflect an arrogance which does not provide for a Plan B if her Plan A fails.
Michael, there are things I disagree with Skandera about. She’s certainly not perfect. That is not the point. What we have, however, is a classic confrontation between the entrenched special interests that control the system and a reformer who is trying to shake up the system and introduce reforms.
You may not like those reforms, but to say that the unions and the Democrats who have controlled this state and its failing institutions for decades are somehow on the side of the angels is simply ridiculous.
Yet NM has been following its Plan A for decades and it has failed, utterly.
Time to stop rowing against the stream and start bailing the bilge.
The proposals do not appear change for the sake of change; they appear more an attempt to pick up some of the broken china of education, chuck a lot that is unrepairable, and buy some new Melmac.
Change for the sake of change is what is going on in DC, where an administration whose evil burns with the purity of a flame is exerting effort to control while holding down the “Flush” button.
NM ranks 49th in educating its children, but ranks higher nearly everywhere.
(Following is 2009 Census Data) It is 30th in overall funding; 7th in grabbing federal dollars in terms of per cent of revenue; 8th in state dollars in terms of revenue; and 48th in local revenue.
Rule of thumb: Schools do better when higher per cent of revenue is local dollars. New Mexicans pay almost nothing in local taxes to educate their children, so they do not follow their money to see how it’s wasted. Change the tax structure and there will be change.
I support Hanna Skandera as Secretary of Education. I believe the time has come for strong measures to be taken which will reform education in the State of New Mexico. Unfortunately, the education establishment doesn’t like change, so it can’t be depended upon for reform. Without reform, the State will continue to be in last place in educational achievement. We owe it to our young people to be aggressively pursuing educational excellence so they can get jobs.