September 30, 2005
New Mexico Public Education Department
300 Don Gaspar
Santa Fe, NM 87501-2786

Beverly Friedman
Public Information Officer

Secretary of Education to Sign Historic Memorandum of Understanding with the Bureau of Indian Affairs
In Gallup on Monday, October 3 rd, 2005

Community Conversations to Take Place in Gallup and Crownpoint



( Santa Fe, NM)— On Monday, October 3 rd, 2005 at 6:00 pm at Gallup High School in Gallup, New Mexico, Secretary Veronica C. García representing the State of New Mexico’s Public Education Department’s (PED), will sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Mr. Edward Parisian, representing the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) for the purposes of sharing students testing data to assist the BIA with the calculation of their schools’ Adequate Yearly Progress. (AYP)


Secretary García said, “I am pleased that we have remained true to intent of the New Mexico Indian Education Act, signed into law by Governor Richardson a year and a half ago. Providing parents with an accurate picture of their student and their school’s academic progress is a crucial part of educational accountability. As a result of this agreement, tribal schools will now be scoring assessment data for the purposes of calculating AYP, in the same manner as the State. The signing of the MOU and my community conversations on Monday in Gallup and Tuesday in Crownpoint are part of my sincere commitment to work with tribes to close the achievement gap as quickly as possible.”


Penny Bird, Assistant Secretary for Indian Education said, “Aligning BIA and tribal schools with the rest of the State is an important facet of ensuring that all students in New Mexico are receiving a high quality education. This is an historic signing which will result in the assignment of student ID numbers to all students enrolled in BIA schools as well as aligning BIA class courses with the public school course codes.”

This historic MOU signing will take place immediately prior to a community conversation Secretary García will be hosting on closing the achievement gap, at Gallup High School that evening. Community members, parents, teachers, students, and administrators are welcome to attend both the MOU signing and the community conversation.


For more information about the MOU signing, this community conversation or upcoming community conversations, contact Jennifer Chavez, Public Information Officer, at the Public Education Department in Albuquerque (505) 222-4752.