April 19, 2005
New Mexico Public Education Department
300 Don Gaspar
Santa Fe, NM 87501-2786

Jennifer Chavez
Public Information Officer
(505) 476-0393

Secretary García Hosts Closing the Achievement Gap Conference in Albuquerque April 21 & 22

(Santa Fe, NM) Secretary García’s Council on Excellence & Equity will be hosting a two-day conference entitled, “Closing the Achievement Gap: Breaking Down Barriers to Learning. The conference will be held in Albuquerque at the Hyatt Regency and the Albuquerque Convention Center.

Secretary García said, “Raising expectations for all students and closing the achievement gap are my top priorities for educational reform in New Mexico. All students should be achieving proficiency or better regardless of ethnicity or family income. My hope is that this conference will provide strategies to address barriers to student achievement and a forum for discussion as well as networking opportunities to bring people together to find permanent and lasting solutions towards closing the achievement gap.”

Highlights of the Agenda for the Conference include:

Thursday, April 21, 2005 6:30-8:30 pm Dinner & Keynote Presentation
“Supporting Student Success: Exploring Evidence of Critical Links between Learning and Health”
William H. Potts-Datema, MS Director of Partnerships for Children’s Health, Harvard School of Public Health
Friday, April 22, 2005 9:00-10:00 am Keynote Presentation
Health & Learning: Twin Goals for American Education for the 21st Century
Jacquelyn G. Sowers, Med, National consultant in human resource development, health promotion and education
Friday, April 22, 2005 12:45-1:45 pm Keynote Presentation
Coordinated School Health: The Real Academic Reform
Dr. Pat Cooper, Superintendent, McComb School District and President, Mississippi Alliance for School Health

Superintendents, principals, assistant principals, teachers, community leaders, community groups, PTA members, school board members, elected officials and anyone working to effect change within the community are encouraged to attend. The conference will cost $75.00 per person, which includes dinner, continental breakfast, lunch and a parking pass for both days. Space is available on a first come first served basis and on-site registrations will be accommodated if space is still available. Registrations can be paid for by credit card. To register for the conference please contact Kesselman-Jones, Inc at 266-0552.