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Give reforms a chance

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By Sherry Robinson

Should we be more concerned that 87 percent of our public schools didn’t make Adequate Yearly Progress or that Democrats are still nitpicking Secretary of Education-designate Hanna Skandera?
I’d say the AYP scores are the least of our worries. It’s apparent by now that this yardstick of the federal No Child Left Behind Act is inherently unfair and unhelpful.
We also know that half our kids can’t read and 60 percent struggle with math. That’s why Gov. Susana Martinez plucked a veteran of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s education team to replicate Florida’s success here.
To anyone who would remind me of the famous axiom that what works elsewhere won’t work in New Mexico, I would remind you that the massive education reform package passed on the previous administration’s watch borrowed heavily from the Tennessee model. That bipartisan reform, led by a Democratic governor, improved accountability and teacher pay but failed to produce the needed turnaround.


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