October 11, 2017
I met today at the National Hispanic Cultural Center to represent the Golden Apple Academy, with people from the Legislative Education Study Committee, Senator Padilla, Ellen Bernstein, Susan Patrick of iNacol, the Coalition for Excellence in Education, PTEC, the LANL Foundation, board members from APS, teachers, parents, and students in a meeting initiated the New Mexico Center for School Leadership, and sponsored by the New Mexico Learning Alliance. The regular gathering of stakeholders in New Mexico education is necessary for the continuity of conversation of our values as a state, and what we want to bring to our children for the future of New Mexico. The status of education in New Mexico demonstrates the need to broaden the conversation beyond the NM Public Education Department, and it was a sign of hope to have such representation from many organizations and individuals at the meeting today. A discussion summary is here. (Jump to the most pressing action)
Take Aways and Next Steps
- There needs to be a repository for the continuation and advancement of this conversation, and public access for action. This post is an attempt to do that.
- New Mexico will need to create the infrastructure to support a more complete system of assessment. There will need to be criteria, auditors, and educators who are trained in the assessment of student products according to that criteria.
- This is a recovery for teachers to be trained as professionals with judgement and agency, rather than the trend to move teachers into compliant, undertrained, assembly-line workers.
- With regard to teachers as professionals, meetings such as these should be counted as professional development for interested teachers, so that teachers are encouraged to participate in these and any conversations about education, and the community is informed about education from a teacher’s perspective. Until that becomes standard practice, meetings such as these should be planned to accommodate teachers who cannot attend. The teacher’s professional judgment, as mentioned here at leadership-pdc.org, needs to be fostered and counted.
The most pressing action, no matter a person’s affiliation, is to create a more publicly accountable Public Education Department, with protections against the gridlock that lead us to this rendition. The current example of why we need to change that structure is the potential adoption of substandard curriculum in compliance with the New Mexico “version” of science standards, discussed here.