Tag Archives: New Mexico

The Heckman Equation – economic development and education

This article in Businessweek January 20-26, 2013 is a wider public distribution of the concept, problem, and solution early child education speaks to that Governor Martinez spoke of in her State of the State address today. Heckman’s Equation brings hard, observable data into the realms of making public policy.

James Heckman, is a PhD economist at the University of Chicago and views education for 3- and 4-year olds as fix to a current serious market failure.  In terms of economic development, early child education is a hard-nosed investment that pays off in lower social welfare costs, lower teen pregnancy rates, decreased crime rates, and increased tax revenue, as opposed to  spending on prisons, health and adolescent special education remediation.

Through the Heckman Equation, he found that an initial investment in free instruction of $17,758 per child per year in 2006 dollars, yielded between $60 and $300  return on investment (ROI) in state and federal welfare monies, increased tax revenues, and, most significantly, savings in police and court costs. As an economist, he finds this is  a 7% to 10% annual ROI.

So, not only did this turn out to not be a cost, it more than paid for itself in annual ROI in improved human capital to business and society, he also found it consistently beat historical ROI on equity (the stock markets) of around 5.8%.

The data further show that the earlier a child gets help, the better the results continue to be through each stage of education. Literally, the greatest ROI or ‘bang for the buck’ exists in early intervention – early child education, and this effective ROI reduces throughout adolescence.

A big problem arises when kids ought to be in early education programs which most young parents can’t afford. Heckman says, “The accident of birth is a huge, huge imperfection in the (economic) market.”

The good news is, and data show, this is overcome-able through targeted early child education and it appears to be scalable.

As an aside, in a 2011 Heckman lecture, he points out that cognitive testing stressed by NCLB and Race to the Top, only speaks to one dimension of a multidimensional system that includes, at least: integrity, socio-emotional skills, character, collaboration, grit. Yet data strongly indicates these untested characteristics may account for the largest share of human development, effectiveness in life, and contribution to the economy and society. These are the “soft” skills that are so widely reported today to be both in short supply and increasing demand.

Beyond interesting, the data also show these “soft” skills even affect scores on cognitive tests!

Two upcoming meetings of interest:

On Sept 11th, 2013, more than 9,000 participants from around the state joined in a telephone town hall to express their concerns and aspirations for New Mexico Public Education. Their responses show New Mexicans are ready for change. Here is a summary.

  • 65% of participants feel students undergo too much standardized testing
  • 68% of participants indicated a greater need for student support services at school
  • 71% of participants thought class sizes are too large
  • 94% of participants thought it was important that schools teach students how to problem solve
  • 80% of participants  feel they do not have a say in education policy.

It is Time to Change the Status Quo for New Mexico’s Public Education!

Click here to RSVP TODAY

Keep The Promise For New Mexico’s Future

in partnership with
New Mexico PBS and The Corporation for Public Broadcasting
presents:

Central Region -  Keep The Promise Education Town Hall


on Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

This is the first of 4 town halls across the state and will be focused on developing a community based vision for education in New Mexico. These Town Halls are opportunities for parents, students and educators to share YOUR vision for public education.

Together we can create real community-driven solutions to ensure a great education for all of New Mexico’s children.

Central Region Town Hall:

Wed, Oct. 16 from 6-7pm at the

UNM Continuing Education Conference Center Auditorium
1634 University Blvd. NE
Albuquerque, NM

Click here to RSVP!

High School Dropout Success Story

Design By Nature, Maggie MacnabThis is  from  ”About The Author” from a wonderful book, “Design By Nature – Using Universal Forms And Principles In Design,” published 2012.

 

Quote from the first chapter on intuition and creativity, “The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.”  - Albert Einstein

Maggie Macnab grew up in Santa Fe, New Mexico with her parents, Sandy, an architect, and Arden, a poet and teacher, and her younger brother Jesse. Her interest in nature and its creative potential was encouraged by her father who gave her a microscope at age nine to see the invisible, read her science fiction shorts as bedtime stories, taught her to observe and draw nature, and took her camping and horseback riding in the high deserts of New Mexico. She learned early on to appreciate nature in all of its many guises in beautiful and mysterious places such as Chaco Canyon,the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Big Bend National Park, Puye Cliffs, and the Santa Fe River on Upper Canyon Road.

Maggie left school at age 16 with one credit outstanding toward graduation, determined not to spend another year in the public education system, and began training in commercial art (the predecessor to design) in Albuquerque in 1973 as a production artist. She learned hands-on with hot metal and emerging computerized typesetters, printers, and ad agencies in Albuquerque and Austin. Maggie started her freelance business in Albuquerque in 1981, subsequently winning national awards and receiving recognition in national design magazines and books from 1983 on. She raised her two children, Evan and Sommer, in the Sandia Mountains.

Maggie teaches design theory at the Digital Arts Program at the University of New Mexico/Albuquerque and for Santa Fe University of Art and Design. She is the most part self-taught and has pursued education in her own way, never looking back.

 

The takeaway: pay attention to and honor what you feel your gifts are and don’t be afraid to go where they take you.

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

Ex-Governor Carruthers on world-class job force and Education in New Mexico

Back in March, Ex-Governor Gary Carruthers being interviewed on Public Radio about ethics in life, business and government was asked, “So, what would your advice be for the good of the state of New Mexico in general?”

He said his answer was very simple: create a world-class job force. And the interviewer and he both agreed that the path to that was education. Education!

Governor Caruthers went on to say that while a Masters Degree or four-year degree would be nice, recent studies of employer/society job market needs say there probably is a greater need for excellent technical and two-year training and education.

So ,,, how would you go about making this happen? What do you think would work?

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

Common Core State Standards kerfuffle?

In the last few weeks and days, I’ve come across a number of articles expressing pro’s and con’s  about Common Core State Standards (CCSS), with critics mounting a flurry of attacks and proponents working hard to shore up support. One pretty good overview article is Common Core Under Fire: How Strong Is Support for New State Standards? You can get as many details as you want by clicking on various links.

My Prezi presentation on New Mexico’s use of CCSS gives a pretty good overview of what they are, what their intent is, and how they are planned to be used in New Mexico.

The Common Core evolved from a 2009-2010 drive by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers to delineate world-class skills students should possess. The standards, created with funding from, among others, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, set detailed goals, such as first graders should understand place values in math and eighth graders should know the Pythagorean Theorem.

“We brought the best minds in the country together to create international benchmarks that, once mastered, would make our students more competitive, globally,” said Gene Wilhoit, executive director of the Council of Chief State School Officers. He said his group has no plans to create national science standards.

Here is a brief summary of some of the pro and con positions:

Pro

  • A Kentucky fifth grade teacher said, ”These standards take students much deeper into the subjects and force them to do more critical thinking,”
  • No Child Left Behind allowed states to create their own unique standards; which could give them the appearance of higher “scores”
  • A 2010 Fordham Institute study found CCSS Common Core to be “a great improvement with regard to rigor and cohesiveness”
  • CCSS do not dictate curriculum (e.g., textbooks and reading lists) or prescribe methods of instruction  
  • Education technology providers have already been designing products based on CCSS

Con

  • This is a federal intrusion into states rights via Race-To-The-Top via financial incentive
  • 5 states worry  CCSS establishes a de facto “national curriculum” (Utah, South Carolina, Michigan, Ohio, Alabama)
  • Implementation may require more time than planned or allowed
  • Republican National Committee decided at their March 2013 approved a resolution condemning CCSS
  • Can standards-based education also be individualized?
  • Seeing children as education industry profit centers may be problematic

So, what do YOU say?