New Mexico

Public Education Department

300 Don Gaspar
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501-2786

Dr. Veronica C. Garc

Secretary of Education

Jennifer Chavez

Public Information Officer




For Immediate Release: January 18, 2006


New Mexico Recognized for Highly Qualified School Principals


Santa Fe— In a recent report by the Center on Reinventing Public Education (part of the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington) New Mexico was one of only 5 states recognized for requiring school principals to encompass skills necessary to promote student learning. The study, which was released in December of 2005, examined the licensure content for principals in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia. The authors of the report reached the conclusion that most states’ license requirements for school principals don’t reflect a learning focus. However, New Mexico’s requirements for principal licensure were singled out along with Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa and Oklahoma for promoting the type of leadership agenda that the public relies on to see education reform carried out in the 21 st century.

Secretary of Education, Dr. Veronica C. García, said, “Part of making schools work means ensuring that school leaders have the knowledge and skills to implement learning-focused leadership. It is vital for school leaders to focus on motivating their teachers, students, parents and community members to work together to raise expectations and thereby raise student achievement for all students in New Mexico. I am proud that New Mexico has been recognized for our requirements for principal licensure. In combination with our three-tier licensure system, we are developing a cadre of highly qualified teachers in the classroom and highly qualified administrators leading our schools, which is gaining national attention.”

The report noted that in the majority of states, the most prevalent requirements were those dealing with candidates’ backgrounds, such as teaching experience and education level. Michael A. Copland, an education professor at the University of Washington and co-author of the new study concluded that, “licensure should focus less on backgrounds and more on abilities…what should matter is whether a candidate can pass an assessment of his or her competency as an instructional leader.”


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