Real reform bill is not status quo!

The Martinez Administration’s political machine has pulled out its bag of dirty tricks once again. The target this time is the Early Intervention Education Bill introduced by Senator Linda Lopez and Representative Rick Miera.

Why launch into a campaign style attack–robocalls, email slams, whining by the Albuquerque Journal editorial staff and KKOB radio that the Dem bill is “status quo”–on something so important to our school children and New Mexico’s future?

Hint: It’s not about the kids…

The national Republicans and their for profit education funders have made it clear to Martinez that if she wants to be vice-president that she must force a large number of New Mexico third graders–especially Hispanics, Native Americans and Blacks to repeat third grade despite their parent’s opposition.

Martinez could compromise, but the Republicans and the for profiters like her contributor K12, Inc. and Skandera’s beloved FEE (Foundation for Excellence in Education) don’t want that. If Martinez did compromise, they would just support Marco Rubio as the “personality” candidate to draw Hispanics to the Republican ticket.

So politics trumps over what is best for our kids.

Martinez also wants to eliminate local control of public education (funny how the Republicans are against “big government” except when their contributors can make a fortune off of the taxpayers by having Martinez control all the education funding through her education department).

The Dem bill states,  “local school districts shall approve intervention and remediation programs and academic improvement programs that have demonstrated effectiveness to provide special instructional assistance to students in kindergarten through eighth who do not demonstrate grade level proficiency in reading and math.”

Further, “Beginning with kindergarten and through eighth grade, each student shall be evaluated with school-district-approved assessments to determine the extent of the student’s reading and mathematics ability.” And, “if students do not demonstrate grade-level proficiency, academic improvement plans shall be implemented for students in kindergarten through eighth grade.”The bill also calls for training parents to help their children achieve reading and math proficiency and for the state to fund after school and summer school programs for kids up through eighth grade (as well as funding for kids whose parents cannot afford those programs in ninth grade through twelfth grade.)

How is that “status quo”?

Early intervention and bringing parents into the education are clear cut winners in helping students achieve.

According to the National Research Council study, “there is good evidence that smaller class sizes, better-trained teachers and principals, a challenging curriculum, high expectations, good after-school programs, and summer school can make a large and positive difference in opportunity and achievement for all children. Flunking kids does not help them.”

Finally, The National Association of School Psychologists have reviewed numerous studies and found that “across studies, retention at any grade level is associated with later high school dropout, as well as other long-term effects.”

So contact your legislators and let them know you support doing what is right for New Mexico’s kids and not enriching those for profit fraudsters that pull on Martinez’s puppet strings.

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