Winston Brooks’ (and New Mexico’s) real problem: lack of education results

APS Superintendent has been suspended for three days for his recent bullying tweets. A few things struck me in today’s Albuquerque Journal when it comes to Brooks and education in New Mexico.

For starters, it appears that the sanitation department fires people for offensive behavior has higher personal conduct standards than APS. But the real issue involves the lack of success of New Mexico’s entire education system (of which APS is a big part). That failure is borne out in our scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) which also happened to be covered in today’s paper.

Of particular interest to Rio Grande Foundation and others in terms of NAEP performance is 4th grade reading. After all, the idea is that children are generally learning to read up until 4th grade and after that they are reading to learn in all subjects. These scores formed the basis for our research on the “Florida Model,” parts of which were embraced by Gov. Martinez and have been opposed by APS in the Legislature. Unfortunately, even Gov. Martinez has not (publicly) embraced broad-based school choice in the ways Florida and Arizona have.

As seen in the chart below, two states, Florida and Arizona, both of which have embraced school choice, are seeing improved results on the NAEP. Florida’s reforms have been particularly impressive, but Arizona (a state that is in many ways similar to New Mexico) has achieved positive results in recent years as well through a broad array of choice programs.

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7 Replies to “Winston Brooks’ (and New Mexico’s) real problem: lack of education results”

  1. And therein lies the problem; Governor Martinez takes half steps for education reform but doesn’t go “all-in” for the bold steps it will take for real reform in New Mexico. Being timid will not do the job. The engrained attitude at APS is “screw you and the horse you rode in on”. Strong leadership and bold initiatives by Governor Martinez will develop a public following and bring pressure to bare on those who put politics above the welfare of our children. Fixing New Mexico’s broken school system should be a crusade and the Governor should lead it.

    1. Winston Brooks should be paying union dues. He’s done little to nothing for student education in this city. I wonder what his qualifications were for the job in the first place. He should go, NOW!

  2. What sets New Mexico apart from other states is a part-time legislature that includes a significant percentage of active and retired educators and government employees — which stacks the deck in favor of the teachers’ unions. A more vigorous campaign by the governor might help, but is unlikely to make much headway against entrenched opposition to school reform.

  3. Bullying behavior is not acceptable in school, yet APS’ top administrator bullies. What message is that sending to students who attend APS schools?
    This is just one of many problems with the staff, administration, and school board at Albuquerque Public Schools.

  4. I first heard the announcement of Winston Brook’s “suspension” as I was driving. I laughed out loud and said aloud to myself, “Are you kidding me? Naughty kids love suspensions… unless their parents are required to come to school to have a “understanding”; prior to the student being reinstated!”

    Who is the backup person for Mr. Brooks?

    This may sound “old school”, but there may be some lessons to be learned. I have had grandchildren in
    the APS Schools. I know they have had teachers who have been outstanding. However, this latest fiasco with the Superintendent makes me more than question what kind of Administration is in place.

    Having taught in NY and FL, Jr High Sciences and HS Biology, I can’t believe the state of affairs at APS.
    My Dad was a Supervising Principal of a School District in NYS. In no way would he, or anyone representing the school, do anything to cause ethical harm the school; without risking dismissal. To my knowledge that happened on one occasion only. The Board, Principals and Teachers were all on the same page. They were Professionals and and worked for students to excel… not just show up for attendance! It worked.

  5. How to get better education results in NM? The solution is simple. School choice and privatization. I think teachers would rather work in that environment than in the public schools we have now. I know students would rather attend that kind of school.

    Why can’t it be done?

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