PRESS RELEASE - February 3, 2004
New Mexico Public Education Department
300 Don Gaspar
Santa Fe, NM 87501-2786

Ruth Williams
Public Outreach Director
(505) 476-0393

PED to Hear Public Input on Proposed Licensure, Accountability Changes

(Santa Fe, NM)--The New Mexico Public Education Department (PED) will hold a public hearing on Wednesday, February 4, at the Jerry Apodaca Education Building, located at 300 Don Gaspar in Santa Fe, to receive input on proposed changes to licensure and accountability regulations. Included will be the “Unsafe School Choice Option” to provide choices for students attending unsafe schools as required under the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act.

The proposed licensure changes will be heard from 10:00 a.m. to noon, with the proposed accountability changes to be heard from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.

Also to be presented at the hearing are the following:

· Amendments to bring the state’s accountability regulations into compliance with NCLB, including the Adequate Yearly Progress (student proficiency against the state’s standards), disaggregation of student data and 95% student graduation rate requirements
· Rules revising the competencies taught by teacher preparation programs, including reading competencies for elementary and special education teachers and competencies for family and consumer sciences teachers
· Amendments to limit licensure waivers to teachers only to align with HB 212 of 2003
· Amendments to require the PED’s Licensure Unit to issue licenses to speech language pathologists in schools as required by HB 212 of 2003
· Amendments to add two new licenses for school health assistants
· Amendments to increase the requirements for new school business officials, and
· Authorizing an additional test for interpreters for the deaf.