Governor unveils new education initiatives

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By Ralph Damiani

I must state up front that with many issues, I am generally not on the same side as the governor, but this time, I think he is right on.

Recently, Gov. Richardson and Education Secretary Veronica Garcia announced six new statewide education initiatives.

The plan, as stated by the governor, is to fulfill his pledge “to be New Mexico’s educational governor – giving our students, teachers and schools the opportunities and tools for success.”

While we can debate his claim that the state is “seeing tremendous payoffs on our investments,” it does seem like his new initiatives do seek to find a creative way to “improving graduation rates, classroom instruction and student and community involvement.”

The six new initiatives follow:

• Education is the key to a New Mexico’s driver’s license

Beginning next year, eighth-grade students will need to demonstrate nearing proficiency or proficiency and beyond on the eighth grade New Mexico standards, and ninth-graders will have to have 90-percent attendance record to be eligible for a New Mexico driver’s license.

This one is my favorite one. Want to hold something meaningful over their heads? This is it.

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