PRESS RELEASE - May 23, 2003
New Mexico State Department
of Education

300 Don Gaspar
Santa Fe, NM 87501-2786

Ruth Williams
Public Outreach Director
(505) 476-0393

New Mexico Exceeds National Averages in Student Access to Technology

(Santa Fe, NM)—According to the May 8, 2003 issue of Education Week, Technology Counts 2003, New Mexico exceeds the national averages for student access to computers, including students in high-poverty and high-minority schools. The report finds that New Mexico exceeds the nation in the number of students in 2002 per instructional computer, per instructional multimedia computer and per Internet-connected computer.

A comparison to previous technology reports by Education Week shows that New Mexico, like the nation, has continued over the past three years to improve student access to technology. For example, in 2000 the average number of students per instructional computer in the classroom in New Mexico was 11.0, compared to 9.4 for 2002. This compares to a national average of 11.3 in 2000 and 9.2 for 2002. And 92 percent of New Mexico schools had Internet access from one or more classrooms in 2002, compared to 84 percent in 2000. This compares to 90 percent nationally in 2002 and 82 percent in 2000.

“More and more, New Mexico students are entering schools that can provide them with essential digital-age learning tools. Our thrust now is on how technology can enhance the learning process for students and prepare them for future opportunities,” said Steven A. Sánchez, the New Mexico State Department of Education’s (SDE) acting assistant superintendent for Learning Services and Indian Education.

The 2003 report finds the following from 2002:

· Statewide, there were 3.2 students per instructional computer in the state, compared to 3.8 nationwide. In high-poverty schools, there were 2.6 students, compared to 4.0 nationwide, and in high-minority schools there were 2.9 students, compared to 4.1 nationwide;
· Statewide, there were 5.6 students per instructional multimedia computer in New Mexico, compared to 5.9 nationwide. In high-poverty schools, there were 5.1 students, compared to 6.5 nationwide, and in high-minority schools there were 5.6 students, compared to 6.6 nationwide;
· Statewide, there were 5.4 students per Internet-connected computer in the state, compared to 5.6 nationwide. In high-poverty schools, there were 5.2 students, compared to 6.3 nationwide, and in high-minority schools there were 5.6 students, compared to 6.7 nationwide;
· Among schools with at least one classroom connected to the Internet, the percent of classrooms with Internet access in New Mexico was 92 percent, compared to 88 percent nationwide.

--more…more…more--

Page 2/New Mexico Exceeds National Averages in Student Access to Technology

Only Alaska had a higher percentage (39 percent) of schools with home loaner laptop programs in 2002. New Mexico, at 35 percent, tied with Montana. The national average was 18 percent.

In the area of personnel, New Mexico also exceeded the national average in the percent of schools with a full-time district or school-level technology coordinator in 2000. In New Mexico the percentage was 39, compared to 33 nationally.

And based on 2003 data, New Mexico is one of only 16 states with a virtual high school.

As announced in April by U.S. Representative Tom Udall, New Mexico received $148,746,000 from the E-rate program from 1998-2002 to improve school – both public and private -- and library access to the Internet. The E-rate provides discounts of between 20 and 90 percent to schools and libraries, based on resources and needs, for education technology and telecommunications services.

“This latest report from Education Week shows how much New Mexico has achieved in providing all students – be they affluent, poor or minority -- with access to technology. We can say with confidence that in New Mexico the gap is closing,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Michael J. Davis.