I read this article (just catching up with my Journal reading) with amusement and frustration. Some so-called “Hispanic leaders” are upset at Education Secretary Hanna Skandera over the achievement gap between Hispanics and whites and for other perceived slights.
I don’t know about the personal interaction Skandera has had with these people, but I can say unequivocally that it is not Hanna Skandera that is causing poor performance among Hispanics.
First and foremost, you have to look at the parents and students themselves. They must be the first point of emphasis in any discussion of educational performance.
Of course, it is easy to blame the parents. We can’t do much to change them, but we can change policies and reform the schools themselves. And, who is it that makes education policy in this State? Hint, it is not Skandera, it’s the Legislature which happens to be controlled by Hispanics. These very same people (like Ben Lujan who I ripped here) have been doing everything possible to stop Skandera’s (and Gov. Martinez’s) reforms.
Here’s my proposal to critics of the Martinez Administration’s education reforms: adopt them. If they fail, then by all means criticize. But, if you don’t like the way New Mexico’s education system is performing, meet with your legislators, complain about them in the media when they vote incorrectly (or fail to bring reform legislation to a vote). Hispanics are not some powerless minority in this state. They run the state and have done so for years. If Hispanic kids aren’t learning in school, they have no one to blame but themselves.