PRESS RELEASE - January 5, 2005
Office of The Governor
Capitol Bldg., 4th Floor
Santa Fe, NM 87503

Gilbert Gallegos
(505) 476-2217

Governor Bill Richardson praises national report showing
Significant education gains

Quality Counts ranks N.M. in top 10 in accountability; 17th in teacher quality

SANTA FE -Governor Bill Richardson today praised a new national report card that rated New Mexico's standards, assessments and school accountability among the best in the country. The Quality Counts 2005 report also showed that teacher quality has improved for the second straight year - jumping from 30th to 17th since Governor Richardson took office.

“This report card validates our efforts to shift money from administration to the classroom, where it directly benefits students,” Governor Bill Richardson said. “We’re recruiting more high-quality teachers and holding schools accountable.

“But we still have more work to do, which is why I’m working with the Legislature to invest in early childhood education, dropout prevention and teacher quality.”

Quality Counts 2005, an Education Week/Pew Charitable Trusts report on education in the 50 states and the District of Columbia, released nationally today, showed the following trends for New Mexico’s schools:

· New Mexico is ranked 7th for its academic standards, assessments and school accountability by today. New Mexico received a grade of A, with an overall score of 94 out of 100.

· New Mexico ranked 17th for its efforts to improve teacher quality. The state received a B-, with an overall score of 81. New Mexico ranked 23rd in 2003, and 30th in 2002.

· New Mexico received a B for the equity of its resources, placing 12th nationally receiving an overall score of 83.

· New Mexico ranked 33rd in the country for education spending.

· And the state ranked 19th in the country for total taxable resources spent on education.

The report credited New Mexico for its new three-tiered licensure system, signed into law by Governor Bill Richardson in 2003. It noted that New Mexico is one of only three states to require that parents be notified in writing if their child is taught by a person who is not qualified to teach the grade or subject.