This November has seen the General Election finish and we want to welcome our New Governor Michelle Lujan-Grisham as our newest partner in the new role she is entering. As we make this transition into the future, I am reminded that we are in one of the most critical times for public education in New Mexico. As she and her administration take over the leadership of the State PED it is incumbent that we map a course that will ensure that our students will be ready for their future and that we have a plan to ensure that the graduates from our public schools are well readied.
As a Coalition, with the insights of our Superintendents and others, we have launched “A Vision to Transform Education in New Mexico – 2019 Policy Recommendations for a Better Future” which we featured in our October Straight Talk. The finalized document is linked to our website here 2019 Policy Recommendations for a Better Future.
This insightful work, completed by our New Mexico School Superintendents Association and endorsed by our NMCEL Board of Directors clearly defines, from a practitioner’s lens, the critical areas of focus and legislative action that must happen for us to meet our mission. It includes developing the Profile of a New Mexico Graduate which allows us to focus our mission with the end in mind. It places significance on the necessity that stable and sufficient funding be provided to assure that long term, right sized funding be calculated into the base. It reflects the significant crisis that we currently face to develop, recruit and retain human capital and sets targeted actions that will accomplish that end. It focuses on the implementation of an equitable delivery system and progress monitoring and compels the renewed effort to restructure our instructional delivery system to meet the requirements of the future. And, importantly insists that the State’s educational statutes must include ongoing advice from educational practitioners by enacting an “Education Practitioner Advisory Council.”
With the 2019 Legislative Session imminent, now is the time for us to be active, clear, and unified in our discussions with the new Governor’s Transition Team and our Legislators in urging them to implement the Policy Recommendations in this legislative cycle. With more than $1.5 billion in recurring and non-recurring funds, there is no more essential action that must be taken than to focus on our public education system and the sufficient funding necessary to serve ALL of our students. The pressure to do the right thing is even more pronounced as the Yazzie/Martinez Lawsuit imminently overlooks the actions of our Executive and Legislative leadership.
The time to LEAD is NOW!!
I am excited to announce that the NMSSA and NMCEL have adopted “A Vision to Transform Education in New Mexico – 2019 Policy Recommendations for a Better Future.” This document will guide our efforts for moving New Mexico Public Education forward into 2019 and beyond. It is an effort completed by 36 of your fellow superintendents addressing all aspects of legislation, practice and visioning. This wonderful work exemplifies what we, as practitioners, find necessary to propel our system into the next four years and beyond. (The complete work is available at this link: 2019 Policy Recommendations for a Better Future.) The following is an executive summary of that work:
Commitment to our Children
A successful education system is one of shared commitments, where each stake-holder understands his/her responsibilities and takes seriously the work that must be done to reach the common goals of our collective society. The responsibilities of schools go beyond reading, writing and arithmetic. Schools are fundamental to our democracy.
As we begin another school year, we are poised for yet another administrative change in our state’s leadership. However, we are all hopeful that this transition will be different for the NM educators. We believe that through the NMSSA Education Plan and the Martinez/Yazzie Ruling earlier this year, educator partners will be able to message our shared principles to address critical actions necessary to move NM Public Education forward. After all, WE ARE NM SCHOOLS!
Our strength as an education community lies with our abundant relationships forged in all corners of this great state. Our NMCEL affiliates represent all the education leader organizations that support teachers and students...keeping a pulse on NM education. I look forward to working with all of you through the 2018-19 school year. Your continued dedication and commitment to our children is inspiring. Thank you for allowing me to serve as NMCEL President and join you on this important journey!
Maria L. Jaramillo, M.S. CCC-SLP