Editorial: State's education plan gets well-deserved recognition - Albuquerque Journal

Editorial: State’s education plan gets well-deserved recognition

Kudos to the state Public Education Department: Two progressive nonprofits working to reform public education say that, of the 17 states that have submitted their plans to comply with the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), New Mexico is at the top of the list.

The two organizations – Bellwether Education Partners and the Collaborative for Student Success – brought together a group of more than 30 independent advocates, education experts and former state officials from across the ideological spectrum to review the first round of ESSA state plans submitted in April. The group’s goal was to serve as an external check on the federal peer-review process and to look at how far states are going to establish a system that will accomplish their visions for K-12 education.

Bellwether Education Partners is a Washington, D.C., nonprofit that works to reform public and private education by focusing on at-risk student populations. The organization strongly supports school choice as a means to long-term education reform.

The Collaborative for Student Success is a nonprofit organization that works to improve public education through a commitment to high standards for all students. It is a staunch supporter of Common Core State Standards as a way of ensuring that students are prepared for college or a career.

ESSA, the federal law that replaced No Child Left Behind with bipartisan support in 2015, gives states more power to control their education systems, including areas like testing and teacher evaluations. The U.S. Department of Education requires states to submit their plans to meet the ESSA standards. States have until mid-September to submit their plans. As of April, 17 states, including New Mexico, did so, and have received feedback from the federal education department.

Christopher Ruszkowski, acting secretary for the New Mexico Public Education Department, said in a statement, “Our students will be the ultimate beneficiaries if we deliver on what we’ve committed to in our plan.”

As you might expect, Albuquerque Public Schools continues to buck that plan, saying it sets high expectations that could be difficult to achieve. For instance, PED aims to boost the high school graduation rate from 71 percent to 85 percent by 2022. Making that goal even more challenging is the fact high school students soon will be required to post better scores on the PARCC test to meet graduation requirements; APS has steadfastly sought to de-emphasize standardized testing.

State Sen. Mimi Stewart, D-Albuquerque and a retired APS educator who chairs the Legislative Education Study Committee, called the report “fake news” and faulted the nonprofits for “telling us how we are doing in New Mexico without being here to see what’s really happening.” Stewart’s stock response to education-related problems, we would note, has been to increase funding.

Parochial viewpoints aside, it’s encouraging to see that PED’s plan for lifting our state from the bottom rungs of public education is being recognized by organizations seeking to do the same for the entire country.

This editorial first appeared in the Albuquerque Journal. It was written by members of the editorial board and is unsigned as it represents the opinion of the newspaper rather than the writers.

Home » Opinion » Editorials » Editorial: State’s education plan gets well-deserved recognition


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

1
Editorial: Congress, NM need to take reasonable steps on ...
Editorials
Somewhere between the extremes of banning ... Somewhere between the extremes of banning firearms and "doing nothing," there are common ...
2
Editorial: Let latest report mark beginning of end of ...
Editorials
To paraphrase Winston Churchill in the ... To paraphrase Winston Churchill in the autumn of 1942 after the British victory in Egypt, the latest ...
3
Editorial: To build, keep trust, NM needs transparent COVID ...
Editorials
The state Department of Health is ... The state Department of Health is grappling with how to present COVID-19 infection data without misl ...
4
Editorial: NM merits radiation compensation, too
Editorials
Extending the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act ... Extending the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act another two years was the right thing to do. Conti ...
5
Editorial: Sorry, NM lawmaking doesn’t need armed staff
Editorials
Guns can be intimidating. That's why ... Guns can be intimidating. That's why crooks often brandish them while robbing stores.  &n ...
6
Editorial: Pulitzer honors NM artist
Editorials
Earlier this month, Raven Chacon, a ... Earlier this month, Raven Chacon, a Diné composer based in Albuquerque, became the first Native Ame ...
7
Editorial: Pet-surrender fee unleashes avalanche
Editorials
Since the Journal implemented a weekly ... Since the Journal implemented a weekly Top of Mind question last fall for our expanded Sunday Opinio ...
8
Editorial: Make fire-ravaged NM whole
Editorials
The federal response to Gov. Michelle ... The federal response to Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham's request for disaster relief as a result ...
9
Editorial: Ronchetti best among GOP field for governor
Editorials
Today, the Journal concludes its endorsements ... Today, the Journal concludes its endorsements in contested primary races with its picks for governor ...