New Mexico has focused resources and years in large amount on systems of accountability in education. When we began this pursuit, the research showed that the closest correlation to test scores was socio-economics. Hundreds of millions of dollars and a decade later, we have relentlessly proven what we already knew, that test scores most closely correlate to socio-economic status. It makes sense that poverty and trauma preoccupy people to the exclusion of learning, and instead of improving education by holding educators accountable for this, we have driven out educators, as well as many other New Mexicans. Instead of attracting highly qualified educators to the profession, the original stated goal of this process, we are one of the least attractive states for educators, which has the added effect of driving away business or other positive influences on our economy, creating more poverty and trauma that deepens with each cycle, because with each generation it becomes a self perpetuating, more ingrained part of the culture. If we had spent equal amounts on child nutrition, the education of families, and early childhood education, the need to hold someone accountable for the educational outcomes of those causes would have been greatly diminished. We would have been on the other side of the feedback loop, the likes of Amazon would not so easily dismiss our state as a viable place to do business.
Jeff Apodaca’s plan to jumpstart the state by using a percentage of the 23 billion dollars we have is the only plan I’ve heard of bold enough to intervene in the death spiral New Mexico is in. I have not heard from any other candidate for governor anything that will change our course, only timid proposals which will cement our identity as the state of the poor, abused, highest in crime, and 50th in everything else. I like the guy who keeps talking about hope, who has articulated a clear plan. I urge you to research the platforms of each of the gubernatorial candidates, whichever way you vote. Here is Jeff’s.