First of all, thank you for your service. There is no doubt sacrifice on your part to do what is right for the people you represent and toward that idea of a more perfect union.
It is for this purpose I ask you to change the structure of education in New Mexico. Over a decade ago, we replaced a State Board of Education because of the gridlock of representatives arguing over their constituents’ best interests, and who may have missed the broader view of education in New Mexico, for a streamlined “Secretary of Education,” whose implementation of policy has not yielded the promised results across the state. Graduation rates are down, test results are down, class sizes are bigger, higher education enrollment is down, teachers are leaving the state, so the state is creating waivers for teachers to teach other subjects, and many other people are leaving the state, too. Feedback about the negative effects of the implementation and policy have been met with threats to the democratically elected school boards rather than discourse, in Las Cruces, Deming, and in Albuquerque. There is no indication that the “Secretary of Education” approach has improved education in New Mexico. There is also a strong possibility that this model will represent constant political swing, as different governors are elected, rather than a more stable foundation of policy.
We need a revised democratically elected State School Board System, whose backgrounds are k-12 education, which represent different geographical areas of the state, which keeps in check the currently unchecked position of Secretary of Education, which has the power to advise, veto, repeal, and override the Secretary of Education.
Please consider legislation to improve the accountability in our government. Thank you,
Jeff Tuttle …