Contact: Isaac Padilla
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Senate Democrats Criticize Governor’s Failed Education Policies After New Report Shows New Mexico Schools to Be Second-Worst in Nation
(Santa Fe, NM) – Responding to a new national report showing that New Mexico’s education system ranks as the 50th worst out of 50 states and the District of Columbia, Senate Democrats today sharply criticized Governor Susana Martinez and Public Education Department (PED) Secretary Hanna Skandera for failing to invest in proven successful strategies to improve learning. According to the WalletHub 2016 analysis of ‘States with the Best and Worst School Systems’, New Mexico came in only slightly better than Louisiana, which came in dead last. PED responded to the findings by saying that the state’s poor performance was due to not holding back some 3rd graders, which also drew the ire of Senate Democrats.
“This Governor and her Education Secretary are in denial when it comes to the shape our public school classrooms are in. While other states move away from failed policies like overusing standardized tests, flunking third graders who do not pass a particular reading test, and A to F grading systems in which the data is all wrong, Martinez and Skandera doggedly continue them. All we have seen is negative and punitive approaches from the administration, never proactive policies to invest in our children and our future,” said Senator Mimi Stewart (D-Bernalillo), a former public school teacher.
The survey looked at several results to arrive at their rankings, including student math and reading scores, average ACT and SAT test scores, student-to-teacher ratios, dropout rates and other indicators. WalletHub is a personal finance website. The full report can be viewed at: https://wallethub.com/edu/states-with-the-best-schools/5335/
“What New Mexico schools need is simple: smaller classes, more time on learning and less on state-mandated standardized testing, and working with rather than demonizing educational professionals. These are the policies Senate Democrats have pushed for. But the Governor is not listening. And this week, the results of that approach are in,” added Sen. Stewart.
PED’s spokesman Robert McEntyre said of the report, “the bottom-line: We have to end the failed practice social promotion, which allows our children to go onto the next grade even when they cannot read.”