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Here is an interesting excerpt from a State of New Mexico State Senate press release (pdf):

Senators Cynthia Nava (D- Dona Ana), Mary Kay Papen (D-Dona Ana), Michael Sanchez (D-Valencia), Mary Jane Garcia (D-Dona Ana) and Bernadette Sanchez (D-Bernalillo) endorsed legislation created by the Senate Education Committee creating the Mathematics & Science Education Act. The legislation was developed with Republicans in a bi-partisan effort.

So, if this was a “bi-partisan effort” how is it that there are no R’s listed on those endorsing
this legislation? I guess bipartisanship doesn’t include sharing the credit. Although a point-by-point analysis of this much heralded “wake-up call” makes me think that might be a good thing:

It includes creation of the initiative as well as a statewide council to improve statewide mathematics and science instruction with the goal of narrowing the achievement gap.

Just perfect. “Creation of the initiative” is now considered progress. Well, heck if that is all it takes, why don’t we just end world hunger, promote world peace and mandate health and happiness? Yuppers, just create an initiative, and we can call it a day. But wait, there is more. The powers that be are going to create a statewide council. Sure, that makes sense. If the current governing bodies can’t get the desired results, just create another one.

The Act also creates a team inside the Public Education Department for science and mathematics, develops a framework for a statewide instructional model, provides funding to facilitate student internships at non-school locations and creates math and science summer institutes for educator professional development.

You mean to tell me there isn’t already a team inside the Public Education Department that addresses science and mathematics. Well, then what exactly have those people been doing over there with all that taxpayer cash?

Of course, the funniest line is that this Act calls for “a framework for a statewide instructional model.” Why is this so funny? As it turns out, the Richardson administration has already publicly celebrated “their success” in this arena:

New Mexico got an A for standards and accountability – including its sanctions and help for low-performing schools – and a B for efforts to improve teacher quality. It earned a B plus for resource equity – meaning wealthier and poorer districts have similar per-pupil funding levels – and a C in school climate.

Education Secretary Veronica Garcia said the rankings indicate the state has laid the groundwork to improve academic performance.

There you have it folks. The problem in a nutshell. We can’t improve education because we never move beyond laying the groundwork. Thanks for the wake-up call, Senators.