[11/7] For Our Future: This Week's Education News & More

Friends & Colleagues -

This week I have the final four for APS's District One board seat, a story of promise from down in Deming, reflections on New Mexico from our most recent Secretary of Education, and some surprising insights about STEM fields and nuances within the sector.

As always, your feedback is welcomed, as are social media and other sharing. Here's this week's roundup:

  • [LOCAL: NEWS] Four Candidates In Mix For APS District One. The names are in for APS's District One open board seat, which covers the South Valley/ Downtown area. The four applicants are: Claudia Benavidez, Jude Gene Chavez, Yolanda Montoya-Cordova, and Lee L. Romero. Each link will provider their respective application materials - including questionnaires, letters of intent, and resumes. The current board will select a new member on 11/13 after public interviews with all four candidates.

    Additionally, APS is hosting an applicant forum this Thursday, 11/9 from 6-7:30pm at Rio Grande High School (2300 Arenal Road SW Albuquerque, NM 87105). All four candidates will take questions from the public and Spanish-language services will be available. Questions about this forum, or any others, can be directed to boarded@aps.edu or 505-880-3729.

    District One covers an area that has over 20 APS schools, including some of the most culturally rich and diverse areas of town (and the famed Dia De Los Muertos Marigolds Parade). District One families and students deserve a forward-looking, hard-charging leader willing to buck the status quo in their name. Let's hold our district accountable for educating our babies.
     
  • [LOCAL: NEWS] Deming Finds Support In Training Program. As reported in the Deming Headlight, school leaders and teachers there are finding optimism and value in Teachers Pursuing Excellence (TPE), a two-year NMPED program working with six districts and 294 teachers this year. Focused on providing teachers skills to elevate their craft, TPE also provides a mentorship component to strengthen peer-to-peer learning and collaboration. Let's hope more districts support their teachers in these ways, providing meaningful professional development - and stipends - to the hard-working maestros educating our students.
     
  • [NATIONAL: INTERVIEW] Former New Mexico Secretary of Education Reflects. In a wide-ranging interview, former New Mexico Secretary of Ed, Hanna Skandera, reflects on her time in The Land of Enchantment and where she sees us going from here. Whether you're a fan, a detractor, or ambivalent about the changes seen under her administration, I highly recommend reading the full interview. What's inarguable is her optimism for what's possible in New Mexico and the implications for our future:
    What’s at stake for New Mexico is our state’s future. We have chronically been at the bottom when it comes to economic and educational outcomes. If we want economics to change, educational outcomes have to change.
    We’re making progress, but we have work to do. We’ve reached a tipping point. What matters most is believing that all kids can learn and then never giving up until we deliver on that promise for every single child.
    If we do deliver on that promise, our educational outcomes will continue to rise, as will our economy and the future of our state. And it’s really no different for the country. We need to address the failed systems, and create systems that acknowledge students and parents are stakeholders. If we don’t do this, we fail the kids.
  • [NATIONAL: NEWS] STEM Boom? Not So Fast. With all the talk about dire shortages of qualified workers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields over the past five years, one would be forgiven for thinking STEM jobs are falling out of trees to anyone with training and ambition. Well, one would be wrong - depending on the specific field. As always, the devil is in the details as not all STEM fields are created equal.

    As shown below, those graduating in Life Sciences and Engineering face grim job markets, while those in Computer Sciences unsurprisingly are in high demand. So, before we spout the popular "STEM is supreme" talking point to schools and students, we must add the qualifier that, more and more, computer literacy is a crucial component to any career, STEM or otherwise.
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