I suppose the irony of the Journal’s editorial escaped notice by the author. In your Feb. 21 editorial, the Senate Rules Committee action in voting to refuse confirmation of Public Education Department Secretary-designate Hanna Skandera is described as “… Sen. Linda Lopez’s dog-and-pony show to denigrate the governor’s education chief has ended with another whimper … .” This despite your top of the front-page article of Feb. 16 with, by my count, approximately 2,000 angry teachers and parents demonstrating against PED policies and the some 200 individuals testifying at her confirmation to the committee over three days during the 2013 legislative session.
For the record, I did not invite these many people from across the state to testify. The great constitutions of our country and state invited them to the capitol so as to petition their elected representatives. Yes, the very same documents that invite the Albuquerque Journal to print – absent of malice – any editorial content they wish. In discounting the process, the Journal denigrates the rights of these individuals – either for or against Skandera – to voice their concerns a matter of incredible importance.
The Journal provides its own glowing assessment of Skandera’s accomplishments, without a mention of the public outcry from the many teachers responsible for educating our children who believe these reckless changes are causing more damage than good as private companies reap millions of dollars in profits pushing these tests on the schools, and taking classroom time meant for learning away from the teachers and their pupils.
There is no mention in the editorial of the many parents who fear the incredible power she would provide to faceless government administrators, allowing them to hold their children back in school without any parental involvement or recourse.
Absent in the editorial is any mention of Skandera never having spent a day teaching children, yet asking us to trust her and Gov. Susana Martinez as they come to New Mexico as if proclaiming “We are here to save you from yourself.”
Is the state of New Mexico’s public education system in need of improvement? Of course it is, but vilifying teachers and parents, redirecting taxpayer money away from the districts and moving it into the Santa Fe bureaucracy, and implementing untested and unfounded mandates on the educational system is a recipe for failure.
Deep, deep divisions have been wrought with the wrong-headed policies pushed by Martinez, and the first step in improving education is to bring the stakeholders back into the discussion and end the terrible manner in which the policies of the administration are being hammered into our school districts in such a callous manner.
Sen. Linda Lopez is a candidate for the Democratic nomination for governor.