2 Feburary 2012
by Alex Curtas
Democrats’ Education Plan Draws Big Crowd At Press Conference
Teachers, Parents, Children, Administrators, and Legislators Come Together to Support House Democrats’ Education Reform Proposals
Thursday’s iteration of the House Democrats’ “Believe in the Best for New Mexico” press conference drew a large crowd of concerned citizens, children, and legislators. The theme today was education reform.
Representatives Stewart and Miera highlighted legislation aimed at helping New Mexico’s children succeed in the classroom and prosper once they enter into the workforce. Early childhood education and intensive intervention/remediation programs featured prominently in the legislation that was presented.
Rep. Stewart’s HB 14 would establish a K-3 Plus program as a permanent fixture in our educational system and would require the state to fund it at a level at which it could be successful. Research shows that K-3 Plus significantly boosts student 3rd grade achievement scores in reading, math, and writing. “[The K-3 Plus program] is designed to give disadvantaged students an additional 25 day of intensive instruction in basic skills,” remarked Rep. Stewart.
Rep. Miera spoke about his HB 53, which would provide targeted intervention and remediation to struggling students throughout their education. Sen. Lopez, who is sponsoring an identical bill in the Senate, joined Rep. Miera this morning in emphasizing the need to use intensive remediation programs instead of the harmful process of retention.
Rep. Miera explained that, under HB 53, “we begin early, in kindergarten, identifying challenges and providing necessary support. We can’t afford to wait until a child is failing in the third grade and then retain them with no additional support. It’s a comprehensive approach to put intensive, targeted instruction and remediation in place to ensure that every child gets the help they need.”
HB 53 also mandates that parents be involved throughout the intervention/remediation process and that no child would be forced to repeat a grade without parental consent. Under the governor’s plan, children could be forced to repeat grades regardless of their parent’s wishes.
The House Democrats’ fifth and final “Believe in the Best for New Mexico” press conference will focus on health care. It will be held at 10:30am in room 315.