May 24, 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 Community Conversation
with Business Leaders May 26, 2005

( Santa Fe, NM) Secretary of Education, Veronica C. García’s will be hosting a community conversation with New Mexico’s business leaders on “Closing the Achievement Gap” on Thursday, May 26, 2005 from 6:00-8:30 pm. The community conversation will be held at the Embassy Suites Hotel located at 1000 Woodard Place NE in Albuquerque. The dinner meeting, for invited guests only, will start at 6:00 pm with check-in beginning at 5:30 pm.

“I believe in the power of community conversations to engage all sectors of the community toward finding lasting solutions. The business community plays an important role in elevating the discussion of education as it relates to the economy.” Secretary García continued, “Closing the Achievement Gap and raising expectations for all of New Mexico’s students is vital if we are going to grow an educated workforce, capable of competing in the global market of the 21 st century.”

The community conversation with business is part of a series of conversations, which will be held across the State in several different communities across New Mexico. Bill Potts-Datema, director of Partnerships for Children’s Health from the Harvard School of Public Health, will be presenting new compelling data which clearly shows the linkage between health and academic achievement. Following his dinner presentation, business leaders will engage in a discussion with Secretary Garcia. The conversation is designed to probe the audience for greater understanding of the root causes of the achievement gap as well as finding strategies for addressing the issue on a community-wide basis.


The Schedule for the Business Leaders Community Conversation is as follows:

5:30 pm – 6:00 pm Check In

6:00 pm – 7:00 pm Dinner Served and Bill Potts-Datema Presentation

7:00 pm - 8:30 pm Community Conversation with Business Leaders and Dr. Veronica C. García