December 7, 2004
New Mexico Public Education Department
300 Don Gaspar
Santa Fe, NM 87501-2786

Jennifer Chavez
Public Information Officer
(505) 476-0393

Secretary Garcia's Council on Excellence and Equity Will Report on December 8th, 2004

(Santa Fe, NM)-- Secretary Veronica C. Garcia has formed a Council on Excellence and Equity which is a key part of Project EXCEL, the cornerstone plan for educational reform. The mission of the council is to form alliances and share best practices, which will facilitate the flow of information between educators, administrators and parents to close the achievement gap in the state of New Mexico. The Council, which meets quarterly, is meeting for the first time on December 8th, 2004 in room 305 of the State Capitol. The Council’s goals are to:

§ Help plan the annual “Best Practices to Close the Achievement Gap” Conference on April 27, 2005;
§ Identify statewide resources for closing the achievement gap;
§ Review the Public Education Department’s effort to close the achievement gap;
§ Bring statewide cohesiveness to efforts towards closing the achievement gap;
§ Report and share best practice initiatives regularly with all stakeholders.

Secretary Garcia said, “Closing the achievement gap is not a wish, it’s a necessity, and I am determined that we will succeed in our efforts to make sure that high quality education is available to every student in New Mexico. We are holding ourselves accountable and I’m confident that the Council on Excellence and Equity will make a difference for New Mexico.”