New Mexico Senator Mimi Stewart (New Mexico’s most effective legislator) spoke at a conference recently and had some harsh and stark words regarding New Mexico’s efforts to attempt to educate its children.
According to news reports, Stewart bluntly stated, “We don’t know how to teach kids from poverty.” And, “They come with no skills — well, they have street-fighting skills. They’ve got a lot of skills; they’re just not academic skills.”
There is a lot we can agree with Stewart on in her initial statement. New Mexico has indeed failed to teach its children from poverty or otherwise. The kind of poor performance SCREAMS for school choice and an innovative approach to education reform, but this is exactly the kind of reform that the effective Stewart and her allies in the unions have put a stop to repeatedly.
Stewart of course did gripe about funding and claimed that “New Mexico set high standards but has failed to provide enough funding to reach them.” This is of course nothing new, but as fellow Democrat John Arthur-Smith testified recently (and we at the Rio Grande Foundation have repeatedly pointed out), New Mexico’s education system is NOT starved for cash.
If only Stewart and the other politicians in this State would accept the fact that government diktats from Santa Fe and Washington, DC are the problem, not the solution to what ails our education system in New Mexico and around the nation. Radically-expanded school choice would be a great start. So would a realization that there are many alternatives to government owned and operated schools when it comes to educating our kids.