Mario Burgos

Clear thinking and straight talk from the top of a mountain.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Political Sound Bites

That's really what we're talking about here - political sound bites. It's beyond absurd for Governor Bill Richardson to be proposing a special initiative to close the Hispanic education gap:

Gov. Bill Richardson said Tuesday that he will work with state legislators to develop and pass a Hispanic Education Act in the 2010 session of the New Mexico Legislature.

This administration has a proven track record of spending hundreds upon hundreds of millions of dollars on budget breaking projects like spaceports and trains, but to expect them to make any gap closing changes in education is just ridiculous. For us to believe this is possible, we would have to forget the track record of education failures in student performance that have plagued this administration from day one.

And, am I the only one who finds it a little bit insincere for Governor Richardson to talk about closing the education gap for Hispanics by passing a Hispanic Education Act? Seriously, this may make sense for a state with a small percentage of Hispanics, but in New Mexico, we've got the highest percentage of Hispanics of any state in the nation - 45% of our state's population.

So, nearly half of our public school children are Hispanic. Fixing and education gap for almost half of the student population does not require a special initiative. It requires a complete overhaul of the education system. But, don't expect anyone in this administration to be up to that challenge. Instead, look for them to blow more smoke and spend more money on initiatives that will do nothing to improve student performance:

Richardson asked summit participants — students, teachers, administrators, politicians and others — to come up with solutions before the legislative session. He said he wants the recommendations to help shape a new Hispanic Education Act, similar to New Mexico's Indian Education Act. That act created a special state division, which compiles an annual report on the progress of Native American students and encourages communication between tribes, among other things.

Yeah, that's what we need. A new "special state division" to compile annual reports and encourage communications. That'll solve all of our problems. Maybe we should bring back the efforts to create a Department of Hispanic Affairs as well?

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