As I said in my inaugural address, nothing is more indispensable to our future well-being or will receive more attention from my administration than guaranteeing a quality education for our children.
We must measure our success in education on whether our children are learning, not on how much money we spend in a system that fails to demand results.
According to a recent Quality Counts report, New Mexico’s education system received a grade of “F” on K-12 achievement. History has every right to judge us harshly if we fail to improve our schools and present our students with the knowledge and skills necessary to compete for the jobs of tomorrow.
When we put our kids first, New Mexico will win. That’s why my budget requires cuts to be made in the bureaucracy – not in the classroom. We will also push for schools to be graded on the same scale as our students – A, B, C, D or F – so that parents and communities have a transparent understanding of where we are succeeding and where we are failing.
Prior to 3rdgrade, our kids are learning to read. Afterward, they are reading to learn. If we allow students to enter 4th grade who haven’t acquired basic skills, we are short-changing their education and setting them up for hardship.
I firmly believe that every New Mexico child can learn, and I’m committed to ending the acceptance of mediocrity in our education system.