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New Mexico State Department
of Education

300 Don Gaspar
Santa Fe, NM 87501-2786

Ruth Williams
Public Outreach Director
(505) 476-0393

PRESS RELEASE

January 24, 2003

SBE Maintains Position on Public School Governance,
Will Not Oppose Vote on Governance Change


(Santa Fe, NM)-The New Mexico State Board of Education (SBE) voted on Thursday, January 23, to maintain its position that the current structure for public school governance should be maintained but to not oppose a public vote on changes to the structure should such measures pass the 2003 Legislature. The motion passed on a vote of eight in favor and six opposed, with one member absent.

"We continue to maintain that a change in public school governance would not necessarily result in improvement at the classroom level but it is only fair that if the Legislature so chooses the public have the opportunity to decide. I am proud of the accomplishments and the leadership of the State Board of Education and State Department of Education. New Mexico is highly rated in many areas critical to the success of public education," said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Michael J. Davis.

The SBE held a formal swearing-in ceremony presided over by The Honorable Judge Celia Foy Castillo of the New Mexico Court of Appeals. Sworn-in were: Ms. Pauline K. Gubbels, member from District A, from Albuquerque; Del Archuleta, member from District B, from Albuquerque; Donovan Gomez, member from District C, from Espanola; Charles Hayes, member from District D, from Lordsburg; Dr. Beverlee J. McClure, member from District E, from Clovis; Millie Pogna, member from District 2, from Albuquerque; Johnny R. Thompson, member from District 5, from Churchrock; and John A. Darden, member from District 7, from Las Cruces.

The SBE also elected interim officers to fill vacated positions. Elected as interim board president until April 2003 was John R. Lankford, member from District 8, from Roswell, and elected interim secretary was Donovan Gomez.

In other actions, the SBE:

  • Revised the public school ratings for East San Jose and Dolores Gonzales Elementaries in Albuquerque from probationary to meets standards and for Artesia High in Artesia from exceeds standards to exemplary.
  • Eliminated the General Knowledge portion of the New Mexico Teacher Assessments (NMTA) for those who apply for licensure after August 1, 2003.
  • Provided an option through 2005 for those who have been unable to pass certain portions of the NMTA and who have been observed teaching satisfactorily in the same school district for two years. They may be licensed to teach only in that district under certain circumstances.