New Mexico Education Department Leaders With Teaching Experience? Bravo!

Jan 25, 2019

Credit NM Education Secretary Dr. Karen Trujillo

Commentary: The Learning Alliance of New Mexico applauds Governor Lujan-Grisham’s selections to lead the Public Education Department (Secretary Karen Trujillo; Deputy Secretaries Kara Bobroff, Katarina Sandoval, Gwen Perea Warniment, and Tim Hand). The Governor’s picks for Secretary of Education and PED cabinet secretaries demonstrate the shared belief that local leadership can solve local issues. This selection of leaders illustrates what we all know, that New Mexico has a deep bench of national level experts whose personal life narratives reflect a specialized understanding of our diverse local communities. The Secretary and every deputy secretary announced today not only have essential teaching experience in New Mexico, but they are all products of New Mexico public schools.

We are grateful for Lieutenant Governor Morales’ initial efforts to correct course, reorienting the Public Education Department to a place of collaboration with and service to our local school communities. And we look forward to his continued expert contribution and guidance to the new PED leadership team.

We are also grateful for the administration’s stated commitment to fully align our public education system to New Mexico’s distinctly diverse students, 76% of whom are culturally and linguistically diverse, through a multicultural/multilingual education framework. Today’s appointments represent a positive step in the direction of a Public Education Department that is responsive to the distinct cultural assets and needs of our diverse student population, as each appointee has a proven track record of successfully designing educational programs in our local communities.

Learning Alliance executive director, Edward Tabet-Cubero responded, “we cannot think of a better lineup of educators to lead our Public Education Department in a positive direction that builds upon our state’s unique cultural and linguistic assets.”

The Learning Alliance is hopeful that the governor and legislature will meet their constitutional obligation to provide our students a sufficient education, which necessitates a significant increase in funding. “It’s going to take all of us to transform public education in New Mexico,” said Emma Jones, lead organizer at the Learning Alliance. “We are ready to roll up our sleeves alongside the new PED leadership to ensure New Mexico’s students and their teachers receive the high quality programs and supports they need for success.”

About the Organization:

The Learning Alliance is a statewide, Albuquerque-based fiscally sponsored nonprofit organization that believes that the children of New Mexico should have access to the best education possible. We will work together to ensure that all students in New Mexico—regardless of race, cultural heritage, academic ability, location, or economic class—have choices upon high school graduation that allow them to fully participate in their communities, the workplace, and across the multi-national state of New Mexico.