August 31, 2005
New Mexico Public Education Department
300 Don Gaspar
Santa Fe, NM 87501-2786

Beverly Friedman
Public Information Officer


The National Organization for Mexican American Rights (NOMAR, Inc.)

8 th Annual Training Conference & Business Meeting

Dr. Verónica García

August 30, 2005


¡Buenas tardes a todos! Es para mí un placer y un honor darles la bienvenida a esta conferencia, la cual ha sido muy bien planeada por la Organización Nacional Para Los Derechos De Los Mexico-Americanos.


The presence of this distinguished audience- of Hispanic Organizational Leaders and Members, administrators, Hispanic Employment Program Managers, Human Resource Mangers and Diversity Specialists – reflects your understanding and commitment regarding the importance of Hispanic Education for the advancement of all Hispanic people across the state of New Mexico.


Su asistencia hoy refleja su comprensión y compromiso por la importancia de ofrecer programas educativos de alta calidad para la comunidad hispana o Mexico Americana en Nuevo Mexico.


  • New Mexico ’s rich cultural heritage is reflected in the many languages we speak and I’m proud that our school system offers parents the opportunity to continue their linguistic traditions in bilingual schools.


  • We recognize the value of bilingual education.


  • A child’s first language is critical to his or her identity.


  • Maintaining this language helps the child value his or her culture and heritage—which contributes to a positive self-image.


  • When the native language is not maintained, important links to family and other community members may be lost.


  • From an economic perspective, better employment opportunities at home and overseas are available for individuals who are fluent in English and another language.


  • Current research tells us that:


  • English language learners immersed in the English mainstream showed large decreases in reading and math achievement by Grade 5. The largest number of dropouts came from this group (Collier & Thomas 2001)


  • The strongest predictor of English achievement is the amount of formal primary language schooling. The more primary language grade-level schooling, the higher the English language achievement.


  • In other words, in order to close the achievement gap we must continue to support and expand our bilingual educational offerings.


  • Too many children have abandoned the languages spoken by their families for generations when they entered the public school system.


  • Supporting our diverse populations in our educational system will preserve our culture, our language and our heritage.


  • Under Governor Richardson’s leadership, I know New Mexico will continue to lead the nation in our bilingual education programs.


  • The Public Education Department and our governmental leaders have been committed to supporting Bilingual Education programs in New Mexico Public School Districts since 1973.


  • The New Bilingual Education Law, which was passed during the Legislative Session of 2004 was a major step forward for bilingual education.


  • This new Law emphasizes the importance of program accountability and accountability for the use of funds for Bilingual Education Programs, which is the theme of this conference.


  • Accountability for program effectiveness and fiscal oversight are priorities for all schools and the Public Education Department.


  • Program effectiveness is measured by the progress and attainment in English, Home Language and academic achievement by students participating in the program.


  • Accountability requires a team effort that includes all stakeholders.


  • For this reason, the Bilingual Education Law requires that all district personnel- including administrators, teachers, and instructional support individuals- receive professional development in the areas of Bilingual Education and English as a second Language.


  • In 2004-2005, districts received 35.2 million dollars , which they must track to ensure that funds support program accountability and results.


  • Accountability reports on bilingual education programs are presented annually to Legislature as required by the law.

  • A State Task Force developed a new Regulation. This Regulation addresses rules and provisions for implementing the new Bilingual Education Law. The Regulation is in the final stages of the adoption process.

  • Recently we’ve taken steps to increase our commitment to providing bilingual education by signing Memorandums of Understanding with Spain and Mexico.


    • These MOU’s will assist us in providing more highly qualified bilingual educators across the State.


  • Currently, we have 13 highly qualified teachers from Mexico and 15 highly qualified teachers from Spain teaching in New Mexico. (Wonderful stories the Albuquerque Journal North and The Santa Fe New Mexican have appeared about the excellent work these teachers are doing.)


  • I am excited about this new MOU with Mexico because the need for bilingual teachers continues to grow and while the available pool of bilingual teachers is growing, it is not growing fast enough to meet our needs.


  • To give you an example, in the 2000-2001 school year we had 393 bilingual teachers teaching on a waiver out of 1, 268 teachers total in New Mexico.


  • By 2004, the number of bilingual teachers teaching on a waiver in New Mexico had only dropped by 77 teachers to 316 out of a total of 1,629 total teachers in New Mexico.

  • In other words, in four years the number of bilingual teachers teaching on a waiver only dropped by about 10%.

  • We are excited about the new MOU with Mexico because we believe this will help us meet the demand for highly qualified bilingual teachers while we continue to grow more bilingual

  • teachers in New Mexico.


  • Now, I will try to give you a summary of the data we have regarding Hispanic Students Statewide.









Hispanic Statewide Student Data





















New Mexico students



Total population





Total Hispanics



% of total pop.





Total Bilingual



in Bilingual Programs compared to the total student pop.

Minus Native Am



% of Native Am students in Bilingual Education Programs

Hispanic Bilingual



% of Hispanic students in Bilingual Education Programs


























Source: Accountability Data System 120 Day 2004-05
























  • Percentage of Hispanic students statewide: 53.33% in 2004-2005.


  • No. of districts with Bilingual Education programs in New Mexico:

(60 in 2004-2005), 58 in 2005-2006.


  • No. of districts providing Spanish Language programs in Bilingual Education: ( 57 in 2004-2005), 54 in 2005-2006.


  • No. of districts with Hispanic students that are not providing Spanish Language Bilingual Education programs*: 32 in 2004-2005, 35 in 2005-2006.

(* Note: There are Hispanic students in every school district in the state. Four of these districts have a Hispanic student population of less than 10%.


  • The data on Hispanic K-12 student achievement very clearly points out that Hispanic student achievement still lags behind Anglo non-Hispanic peers in all content areas.

AYP Performance Statewide:


  • Approximate 318 Bilingual Education schools did not meet AYP out of 523 schools participating in BE.


  • Only 3 districts out of 57 districts participating in Bilingual program made the AYP .


  • Only one-third to one-half of Hispanic students in New Mexico performed at or above proficient or advanced in Reading depending on the grade level.


  • The percent of Hispanic students who are proficient or advanced in Reading is 22%-28% lower than the percent of White non-Hispanic students performing at or above proficient.


  • In Math, the percent of Hispanic students at or above proficient ranges from only 13% to 38%, depending on the grade level.


  • In grades 3-8, the percent of Hispanic students performing at or above proficient is consistently 20%-24% below the percent of their White non-Hispanic peers performing at the same level. At the high school level (Grades 9 and 11) the achievement gap widens to about 30%.


  • Hispanic students lag behind their Anglo non-Hispanic peers in Science proficiency by 30% more in all grades except Grade 3 where the gap is 20% and in Grade 8 where the gap is 26%.


However, some progress is being made:

2005 AP vs. 2004 AP

  • 18.6% increase in Hispanic students taking the AP exam (2,031)


  • 17.7% increase in Hispanics earning scores of 3-5 (1,071)


  • 18.2% increase in AP Spanish Language Exams (564)



  • 4.1 % increase in 10 th grade Hispanics taking the exam ( Hobbs and Las Cruces)


SAT Reasoning Test 2005

  • 10.3% increase in Hispanic students taking the test (440)


  • New Mexico students scored 558 on the Verbal, compared to National Mean of 508


Ÿ Ÿ NM Hispanic students scored 519 on the Verbal (gap) compared to 2004 where students scored 514, so scores are going up, even if it is in small increments


  • New Mexico students scored 547 on Math, compared to the National Mean of 520

Ÿ Ÿ NM Hispanic students scored 509 Math (gap) compared to 2004 at 502 again, we see the scores going up in small increments


  • ACT Results for New Mexico Hispanic Students also show that Hispanic ACT test-takers are increasing.


  • The number of Hispanic ACT test-takers has jumped nationally by 40% since 2001.


  • New Mexico Hispanic students represented 4.7% of the national Hispanic test-takers.



  • New Mexico Hispanic students scored an average of 18.6 on the ACT; the same as the national average for Hispanic students.


  • 3,950 New Mexico Hispanic students took the ACT. This is an increase of 158 students from the previous year, but it is only 33% of the Hispanic student population of New Mexico



  • 49% of New Mexico Hispanic students took core subjects, including:

    • 4 years of English

    • At least 3 years of Mathematics

    • At least 3 years of Social Sciences

    • At least 3 years of Natural Sciences


  • Of the 3,950 New Mexico Hispanic students taking the test:

    • 50 % are “ready” for College English Composition

    • 19% are “ready” for College Algebra

    • 35% are “ready” for College Social Sciences

    • 11% are “ready” for College Biology


  • Too few New Mexico Hispanic students are taking challenging math and science courses.

    • 26% of New Mexico students take Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry and no more. The average ACT Math score is 17.9, considerably short of the 22 ACT College Algebra benchmark.


    • 31% of students take less that 3 years of natural science courses. Their average ACT score is 18.5 over 5 points away from the 24 ACT College Biology benchmark.


  • ACT has an EXPLORE program that is targeted for 8 th grade students and the PLAN program for 10 th grade students.


  • Despite the alarming statistics, we have had many many stories of success coming out of our bilingual programs so I would like to share some of those stories of students success with you:


Hispanic Student and Program Successes (2004-2005):


NMABE, the New Mexico Association for Bilingual Education, provides scholarships to college juniors and seniors majoring in education with a bilingual endorsement


Albuquerque (53.79% Hispanic):

The following schools met AYP and have a high percentage of Hispanic and ELL students:

  • Longfellow Elementary ES:(Dual Language and Fine Arts Magnet School)

  • Dolores Gonzales ES:(Bilingual Education: Dual Language and Maintenance Education Programs)

  • Los Padillas ES:(Bilingual Education: Dual Language and Maintenance Education Programs)

  • Armijo ES (Bilingual Education: Dual Language and Maintenance Education Programs)

  • Duranes ES (Maintenance Bilingual Education)


Las Vegas City (87.83% Hispanic) :

Expanded Dual Language Program at Los Niños Elementary. Results indicate that the program is working and students are achieving academically in both languages. The program has gained popularity among parents and community members. They have continued the Dual Language efforts at the middle school.


The district is also strengthening the regular Bilingual Education program. A new Bilingual Education training policy has been adopted resulting in more teachers endorsed in TESOL and or Bilingual.


A Bilingual Ed. curriculum was developed by K-12 teachers that is aligned with NM Standards and Benchmarks. Las Vegas City Schools have just completed a K-12 English Language Development curriculum and it is also aligned with NM Standards and Benchmarks.


West Las Vegas (92.93% Hispanic) :

The West Las Vegas High School graduating class had eight Valedictorians.  All eight were Hispanic!!  The two students that scored the highest on the ACT were also Hispanic.


Peñasco (91.76% Hispanic):

1.  Over 100 students received college scholarships last year.

2.  Test scores were right below those of Los Alamos.

3.  A large group of sophomores were inducted into the National Honor Society.

4.  The Boys basketball team, Cross Country team, Baseball team, and Track team went to State.

5.  The Drama Club and Mariachi Club have been very successful.

Santa Fe (72.33% Hispanic) :

Capital High School 's graduating of 2005 consisted of 202 graduates receiving a diploma. Of those students, 18 were ELL students. 11 of those students are now attending Santa Fe Community College.


Española (90.22% Hispanic) :

  • Española Public Schools collaborated with the Mexican Government to provide an INEA program.  The INEA (Instituto Nacional P ara La Educación de Los Adultos) is housed at the Espanola Valley High School.  Currently, we have 60 students enrolled.  Espanola Public Schools have hired two 2005 Espanola Valley High School graduates who are bilingual and biliterate to serve as tutors for students throughout the district.

  • The Mariachi Sol del Valle program from Espanola Valley High School placed first in Albuquerque.

  • The Espanola Public Schools hosted a Dia de Cultura at the Onate Center on May 5, 2005.  All schools in the Espanola District participated in individual student projects and student performances.  Elementary students performed traditional baile folklórico from Mexico.  County officials (sheriff, County Commissioners) and local business owners attended and supported the event by serving as judges for student projects or donated trophies.

  • The Española Public Schools is in the first year of implementation of a Dual Language program at Española Elementary.  They started with one classroom of 20 students in a dual language program and by the second day, they had a need for a second classroom. 

Lovington (63.14% Hispanic) :

Hispanic kindergarten students scored as well or better than their non-Hispanic counterparts on the dynamic indicators of basic early literacy skills (DIBELS) reading assessment.


Las Cruces Public Schools (69.42% Hispanic) :

LCPS schools reflect researched best practices. Sixteen out of twenty-three elementary schools are implementing a Dual Language model addressing the needs of English Language Learners. These programs are open to all children whose parents wish them to pursue a bilingual education, on a space-availability basis. Students in these programs are developing strong academic skills and developing strong bilingual skills.

Two middle schools are also implementing a Dual Language strand for ELLs and other students interested in pursuing a bilingual education.


Pecos (89.98% Hispanic) :

One of the 2004 Pecos High School graduates, Leon Vigil, attend the June board meeting thanking the school board for the educational opportunities he had been offered at Pecos High School. He informed the board that he would be enrolling as a junior after one year at UNM and had maintained a 3.8 GPA during his first year. This had been made possible by his participation in the partnership between PHS and Luna Community College. Basic college freshman courses had been taken on the PHS campus during his senior year.

He said the quality of the courses had allowed him to pursue advanced courses successfully where the LCC/PHS courses were prerequisites. This year the program is being expanded to offer as many as sixty semester hours of college work at Luna during their 11th and 12th grade years. These students will be able to take advantage of the full array of vocational courses on the Luna Campus. Pecos High School enrolls 95% Hispanic students.


Bernalillo (48.17% Hispanic):

Roosevelt ES (Bilingual Education: Dual Language and Maintenance Education Programs)


Bernalillo Public Schools is also initiating a Bachillerato Program in collaboration with El Colegio de Bachilleres from Mexico City for immigrant students who would benefit from taking high academic courses in Spanish (Chemistry, Physics, Calculus) via the internet. The collaboration will open the existing online program, which is currently one of several ways that a student in Mexico can attain their degree. The Bachillerato is a compilation of 36 content courses vs. 23 in New Mexico schools to attain a diploma.


Bernalillo PS is seeking approval from the State PED to accept all or part of the online courses for a NM high school diploma. The online coursework comes with multi- supplemental materials including, books, audio tapes, vcr tapes and teacher interaction. The Bernalillo Public Schools believes that when a school district does not have a highly qualified teacher who is able to teach chemistry in Spanish, this program would come closer to insuring that Spanish dominant students continue to learn academic subjects in a language that they know best.


Gadsden (95.01% Hispanic):

  • All Hispanics as well as ELL met AYP in each of the schools in the district.

  • For the school year 2004-2005, more Hispanic students are reading at or above grade level; few Hispanic students were "left behind".

  • In first grade across the district, only 3% of Hispanic students are reading below grade level.



Deming ( 79.31% Hispanic):

* The bilingual department helps Hispanic high school students with attaining higher education (They help them with FASFA, college registration, ACT, scholarships in general). The department initially helped 2 students go to college in 2000 and this year they had 18 Hispanic students that this department helped.


*The bilingual department provides Hispanic students with the opportunity to visit 3 universities in New Mexico. The students go to the universities and have the experience of walking through the classrooms, eating lunch in the cafeteria, walking through the dorms and speaking with students who are of Hispanic background who attend the university.


* Gadsden School District has a very successful Dual Language Program that is in its 8th year. The first set of students that were in the dual language program at the elementary level are above average students in 8th grade in English classes. The district has opened a new elementary school, Bataan Elementary, which includes a strand of dual language. The district currently has 5 schools that have dual language programs.


Rio Rancho (Hispanic 37%)


ALL English Language Learners district-wide made Adequate Yearly Progress according the NM Standards Based Assessment.


A new position was created for the Rio Rancho Public School District. The new K-12 Bilingual/ESL/Native American Literacy coordinator for the district is directly liked with curriculum and instruction and provides training for teachers, parents and other staff members.

The district developed a bilingual/ESL cohort to train teachers in TESOL and Bilingual Education for endorsement. They currently have 16 teachers in the program.


Conclusion :

Tenemos razón de sentirnos orgullosos de la larga tradición histórica y del liderazgo de nuestro estado por la Educación de los Hispanos o Mexico-Americanos.

The present and the future of educating Hispanic students depends on how much we value, appreciate and use our languages from generation to generation.

Todos debemos continuar con esta tarea de enseñar a nuestros niños y nuestros jóvenes la importancia de hablar más de un idioma. Una familia, una comunidad sin cultura y sin lenguaje, es una familia y comunidad que puede desaparecer.


Please continue with your role and advocacy to ensure that all New Mexico students become successful Bilingual and Multicultural citizens in the state, the nation and the world.


Por favor, sigan adelante con su energía y sabiduría, para que así nuestros estudiantes puedan guiar eficazmente una sociedad multicultural. Gracias una vez más, y buena suerte con sus esfuerzos educativos.