ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Vicky left her family to attend a school for the blind in Texas.
It was at the school where the little girl, who was born blind, met now-Superintendent of Albuquerque Public Schools Raquel Reedy, telling Reedy of how scary it was to be in a new place without her loved ones.
Vicky would talk to Reedy in Spanish, the only language the 7-year-old spoke. Reedy said she was shy, bright and articulate.
So, when school officials said Vicky failed an IQ test and was mentally disabled, Reedy, who was student teaching, stepped in saying that only happened because the test was in English and advocated for the girl to get different care at the school.
It was that event and Vicky that inspired Reedy to further her career in education, the superintendent said at the Economic Forum of Albuquerque breakfast Wednesday morning.
Reedy, who began her career with APS in 1977, told the group of primarily business leaders about the strides she says the district is making.
“APS is an integral part of Albuquerque,” she said.
She highlighted APS’ reach into the business community takes many forms: from graduates who enter the workforce to construction projects the district provides.
The district spans 1,200 square miles with buses traveling more than 39,000 miles to and from schools each day, Reedy told the forum.
She touted graduation rates on the rise, PARCC scores improving and surveys that show parent satisfaction. And she emphasized truancy rates were down.
“We know these numbers need to grow,” she said, adding the district is going in the right direction.
The superintendent outlined “The Superintendent’s Big Five,” which are goals Reedy has to improve the district:
• Whole child.
• College and career readiness.
• Early learning.
• Community and parent engagement.
Another point she emphasized is that about 64 percent of the operational budget goes to instruction, which is more than the state-wide average of about 60 percent.