New Mexico - Public Education Department
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Every Student Succeeds Act
Update – December 2016

Dear New Mexico Community,

I hope this note finds you well. As you know, PED has been traveling to many of our communities listening to educators, parents, and community leaders gathering feedback and ensuring that the goals for our public education system are reflective of the communities we serve. Last month PED visited Las Cruces marking the last stop on our tour. In addition to listening to community members, we had a chance to observe the great work underway in our classrooms. As we reflect on New Mexico's encouraging academic progress in our schools over the past few years, we will continue to work to ensure that our students continue to make progress while preserving the stability that our teachers have requested throughout our meetings across the state.

While Las Cruces was our last stop, the PED team over the past month has:

  • met with over 400 teachers in 21 schools, including Title I and Title IV, to listen to teachers about what's working in their classrooms and where they need more support;
  • held 18 community forums, in partnership with New Mexico First, listening to 583 parents, educators, district and community leaders, about what's working in our schools and where our educators need more support;
  • attended the annual Government to Government conference meeting with 50 Tribal leaders and Tribal representatives to discuss ESSA and how to best support native students;
  • convened Title III directors to ensure that we're focused on supporting our English Learners, ensuring that students and families have the supports they need in schools;
  • in partnership with New Mexico First, posted an online survey, available in English and Spanish, for those were unable to attend a community forum. The deadline to submit feedback was December 2, 2016;
  • convened the Opportunity to Learn and Future Ready Student working groups which are well on their way to providing PED with recommendations by the end of the year. The working groups are focused on what families and educators deserve to know about their schools and improving and defining high school graduation pathways for students, respectfully.

We are appreciative of the opportunity to listen and convene our community. We are taking your feedback seriously and we are committed to developing resources for educators and supporting programs aiding our student's health and wellbeing, issues that our educators and community leaders have requested. In addition, New Mexico First will release eight reports detailing the feedback from each community visited as well as a report summarizing the feedback from all New Mexicans. These reports, and information about the community forums, will be available on the New Mexico First NM Rising: Engaging our Communities for Excellence in Education website.

We continue to be encouraged by the great work that our teachers and communities are doing and their dedication to student's educational progress and wellbeing and we look forward to working with you and your community to sustain the progress our students are making.

-Secretary Skandera

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