Let's Talk Yazzie/Martinez update
In 2018, a judge ruled in the Yazzie/Martinez lawsuit that New Mexico was failing to provide an equitable education to students who are low-income, Native American, have disabilities or are English language learners. This means that the state is in direct violation of the education clause in the New Mexico State Constitution.
The decision made by Judge Sarah Singleton pointed to the evidence of low test scores and graduation rates, the lack of culturally appropriate curriculum, and high rates of college remediation. She ruled that all New Mexico students have the right to be college- or careerready.
Specifically the state had failed to provide services and programs like dual language, social services, small class sizes, extended learning, and sufficient funding for both teacher recruitment and retention.
Last year, the Public Education Department published its action plan for Yazzie/Martinez that includes strategies like a well-coordinated early childhood education system, extended learning programs to re-engage students, approach structured literacy by teaching educators the “science of reading” to ensure students are reading at grade level, focusing on college or career readiness, and providing technology to all students and their teachers and access to high-speed internet.
On this week’s Let’s Talk New Mexico, we’ll take a look at the efforts the state has already made, why our education system is still facing significant challenges, and what still needs to be done to avoid more lawsuits. And we want to hear from you! What needs to change to provide all children an equitable education? Are you a teacher? How do we simultaneously re-engage students while fixing stressors that lead to burnout? Email us at LetsTalk@kunm.org, tweet using #LetsTalkNM or call in live during the show at 505-277-5866.
- Arsenio Romero - Designate Secretary of Education, New Mexico Public Education Department
- Mandi Torrez- Educator
- Laurel Nesbett - Senior Attorney, Disability Rights of New Mexico
- Melissa Candelaria, Education Director and member of the plaintiff’s legal team for Yazzie/Martinez v. State of New Mexico, New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty
- Loretta Trujillo, Executive Director, Transform Education NM