Albuquerque plans show promise, sense of commitment and steps forward

CONTACT: AMANDA ARAGON, (505) 980-4436


Albuquerque, N.M. –  The New Mexico Public Education Department (NMPED) announced today that it will support school turnaround efforts at three Albuquerque public elementary schools depending on certain conditions being met to measurably improve student achievement by 2020.

The schools were among four altogether–including an elementary school in Dulce–with turnaround plans submitted to NMPED for review, having failed by state standards for at least five years. In the case of  Albuquerque’s schools, the NMPED conditionally approved plans for Los Padillas and Whittier Elementaries, while the Department denied the plan for Hawthorne Elementary, selecting instead to work with the district to aid families in placing their children at one of the 10 better-performing schools within a five mile radius of the school.

The Department also denied the plan for Dulce Elementary but offered another extension, requiring the district to resubmit their plan by May 7.

Amanda Aragon, founder and executive director of NewMexicoKidsCAN: The New Mexico Campaign for Achievement Now, issued the following response to the news:

“The turnaround plans from APS are worth earnest recognition: it’s clear that district leaders have finally embraced the opportunity to think differently about solutions for our kids,” Aragon said. “The plans include strong components necessary for school turnaround and  I agree with NMPED that it’s good enough. Yet I wish the plan would have stepped even further out of the box.”

She added: “It’s been a long road, but arrival at this destination will be a huge benefit for the nearly 1,000 students who attend these schools.”

In Dulce, where district leaders will again adjust their strategy for improving student achievement, the future is more unclear, in large part because Dulce Elementary lacks nearby public schools for kids to choose as an alternative.

“In sharp contrast with Albuquerque Public Schools, Dulce hasn’t shown they’ll be bold, urgent and transformative to better the lives and learning of their grade schoolers,” Aragon said. “Two more weeks to tweak their proposal means another two weeks of classroom time without the conditions in place for kids to thrive. Whether it’s the district or the Department, someone must step up and put the needs of students in Dulce first.”


About NewMexicoKidsCAN: Launched in 2018, NewMexicoKidsCAN: The New Mexico Campaign for Achievement Now is a local non-profit organization that advocates for community-informed, student-centered and research-backed education policies. Connecting policy, instructional practice and politics the organization works to reimagine what is possible in New Mexico’s public education system to ensure New Mexico students become the future community, civic and business leaders New Mexico needs.

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