July 22, 2005
New Mexico Public Education Department
300 Don Gaspar
Santa Fe, NM 87501-2786

Beverly Friedman
Public Information Officer

Secretary García Hosts Community Conversation
in Albuquerque July 29, 2005


( Santa Fe, NM)— On July 29 th, 2005 Secretary of Education, Dr. Veronica C. García, will host a community conversation from 2:30-4:30 pm at the American Federation of Teachers Albuquerque offices, located at 8009 Mountain Road. The New Mexico Parent Teacher Association (PTA), the League of Women Voters, the Albuquerque Teachers Federation, and the Albuquerque Educational Assistants are co-sponsoring the conversation and all of these organizations will have representatives participating that day.

During the conversation, Secretary García will show data about the achievement gap in New Mexico to the group and then she will ask participants to brainstorm about the root causes of the achievement gap. The purpose of the meeting is to try to find lasting solutions as well as tactical strategies that parents, teachers, and community members can employ to help close the achievement gap.

Debbie Morgan, President of the New Mexico Parent Teacher Association, (PTA) said, “We are looking forward to meeting with Secretary García. The PTA believes the most important thing a parent can do is help their child be ready to learn. We are pleased that Secretary García is making parent involvement a high priority for educational reform.”

Christine Trujillo, President of the American Federation of Teachers, New Mexico Chapter said,

“ As a union of professionals, we are committed to providing teacher quality in

New Mexico . This is a great opportunity for us to help identify and employ

initiatives that hold the greatest promise for moving all of our students, including

students of color, poor students, rural and urban students, and second-language

learners to high levels of achievement. We applaud the Governor and the Secretary

for their on-going commitment to education professionals by valuing our input

and finding solutions to policy problems from the bottom up.”

Secretary García’s conversation on July 29th is part of a statewide community conversation tour that she is implementing. Teachers, parents, grandparents and anyone wishing to discuss closing the achievement gap is welcome to attend the July 29 th conversation. However, space is limited so advance reservations are necessary. To reserve a spot, please call or e-mail Jennifer Chavez in Albuquerque at 222-4752. For additional information, or if you are interested in having a community conversation on closing the achievement gap with Secretary García in your area, please contact Jennifer Chavez, Public Information Officer at Jennifer.chavez@state.nm.us