PRESS RELEASE - October 21, 2003
New Mexico Public Education Department
300 Don Gaspar
Santa Fe, NM 87501-2786

Ruth Williams
Public Outreach Director
(505) 476-0393

GPA Education Task Force to Hold Kick-off Meeting Thursday at Workforce Training Center in Albuquerque

(Santa Fe NM)--The Governor's Progress Agenda (GPA) Education Task Force will hold its kick-off meeting on Thursday, October 23 from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. at the Workforce Training Center, located at 5600 Eagle Rock Avenue NE in Albuquerque. The goal of the meeting is to establish a baseline of information for future work, clarify the responsibilities of task force’s 12 working groups and define deliverables for each group.

Governor Bill Richardson will address the task force at 1:30 p.m. Also addressing the task force will be Dewayne Mathews, senior advisor to the president of the Education Commission to the States (ECS), located in Denver, Colorado. Mathews will address data and information about education in New Mexico. The ECS is a nonprofit, interstate compact created in 1965 to improve public education by facilitating the exchange of information, ideas and experiences among state policymakers and education leaders.

Lieutenant Governor Diane Denish and former Governor Garrey E. Carruthers will co-chair the meeting. Vice-Chair Jackie Riggs, president of the New Mexico Business Roundtable, and Dr. Peter Winograd, director of the Office of Education Accountability, will provide an overview of HB 212, the School Improvement Act of 2003. In addition, the 12 work groups will hold meetings to determine what has already been accomplished, who else needs to be involved and future meetings.

The 12 work groups are as follows: Structures and Governance, Early Childhood/School Readiness/Kindergarten, Quality Educators Workforce, Rural Education, Indian Education, Higher Education, Districts and School Leadership, Accountability (Data Systems), Assessment of and Funding for Professional Development Programs, School Finance, Charter Schools and Student and Family Support Programs.

Work groups are charged with gathering, analyzing and selecting data and information and building upon work that has already been accomplished in order to prepare short-term and long-term recommendations. The recommendations will be prioritized and presented to the Governor.