Category Archives: Public Education Department

Seditious thoughts about New Mexico and US education

So, here are some seditious thoughts about New Mexico (and American) education.

If our objective had been all along to educate ALL children so they could achieve in life, we probably would have done so.

We would have found ways to support underserved children so they would catch up and keep up from the get-go

We would have checked with our children to discover and deliver information they could get interested in that would, again, prepare them to achieve their desires in their lives.

We would have delivered kids to community colleges and universities education-ready – we would have continuously paid attention to any shortfalls that occurred and explored ways to overcome them – on the fly if necessary.

We would use metrics, evaluations, etc., to improve what was being delivered to our children by the educational system – rather than emphasizing how well OUR school/system was doing relative to THEIR school/system for either bragging rights or protection from unions, parents, legislators and politicians.

We would have focused on preparing kids for life rather than trying to prove which new silver bullet (curriculum, text book, administrative re-structuring, legislative/ political posturing…) was working better than the other guy’s new silver bullet.

We would be paying more attention to the kids’ and parents’ needs than to our systems and administrative procedures and educational professional jargon.

As opposed to THIS WAY of societal thinking:

The law says you’ve got to be in school so the principal and teachers have to take care of you whether either they or you like it. So go to school!

It’s important that you have a place where you have to be so your parents can do whatever it is that they do without worrying about where you are or what you are doing.

Besides, most of US don’t have kids around any more, but we still have to keep paying our taxes so people that still have kids have somewhere to send them to keep them off our streets.

Maybe you’ll learn something. Maybe not. It’s up to you. Take it or take it – your choice (?)

And hey, if you don’t learn anything and drop out, no problem. That’s what we pay the police for and why we have some homeless shelters, jails and prisons scattered around.

Seditious Tom

How Increasing Income Inequality Is Dampening U.S. Economic Growth, And Possible Ways To Change The Tide


Here is an overview from recent Standard & Poor’s economic research describing the importance of education to our country’s well-being:

  • At extreme levels, income inequality can harm sustained economic growth over long periods. The U.S. is approaching that threshold.
  • Standard & Poor’s sees extreme income inequality as a drag on long-run economic growth. We’ve reduced our 10-year U.S. growth forecast to a 2.5% rate. We expected 2.8% five years ago.
  • With wages of a college graduate double that of a high school graduate, increasing educational attainment is an effective way to bring income inequality back to healthy levels.
  • It also helps the U.S economy. Over the next five years, if the American workforce completed just one more year of school, the resulting productivity gains could add about $525 billion, or 2.4%, to the level of GDP, relative to the baseline.
  • A cautious approach to reducing inequality would benefit the economy, but extreme policy measures could backfire.

You can read the whole, lengthy article  here.

A Brief Overview of New Mexico Common Core State Standards (NMCCSS)

Recent articles have called Common Core (CC) into question for a variety of reasons. Many of them seem either politically motivated, nonsense posturing, or both.

  • A few states have tested under CC and found test scores went down from No Child Left Behind NCLB – testing standards under NCLB were gutted a few years ago by allowing states to ‘set their own’ standards if NCLB seemed embarrassingly tough.
  •  ‘CC test scores going down’ is the problem and reveals the ‘experimental’ therefore untrustworthy nature of CC – so, kids performing below grade level, dropping out, and requiring much remediation for higher education are not, and have not been, the problem since even before NCLB passed in 2002?
  • Local standards varied greatly and didn’t seem to be getting the job done anyway – one recent editorial by a U.S. Representative stated a) ‘all these new programs’ were confusing and wasteful, b) government imposed standards was a bad idea, and what was needed were c) ‘voluntary’ standards … really? Voluntary standards? One wonders if the person owned or used a dictionary, besides, NCLB becoming a ‘voluntary standard’ caused big problems.

Anyway, clicking on the image below will take you to a 16-slide Prezi presentation. You can change slides by clicking the right-left arrows at the page bottom; after the first click you can change slides by pressing the left-right keyboard arrows.

New Mexico Common Core State Standards Prezi

Education contact information

With a little bit of work you can use this post to locate the name, address and telephone number of an actual person who should be willing to listen to the situation you are having problems with. They may be able to either do something about it, direct you to someone who can, or note it for discussion at their next problem-solving meeting. As a reminder for how this works, see my earlier post, Bitching Doesn’t Work.        Continue reading