Episode 633 | Education Legislation
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Episode 633 | Education Legislation


>>WE’RE FOCUSED ON
EDUCATION NOW, AND TAKING A DEEPER LOOK AT LEGISLATION
AT REFORMING IT. LET’S START WITH MONEY. IS NEW MEXICO’S FORMULA TO
FUND, TOM GARRITY, EDUCATION, IS IT EQUITABLE? THAT’S AN INTERESTING WORD
WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT THE MONEY IN EDUCATION HERE.>>WELL, IT IS.
AND YOU BASICALLY HAVE TWO DIFFERENT ISSUES; HOW YOU
FIX THE SYSTEM, WHICH EVERYBODY IS TRYING TO DO
RIGHT NOW IN SANTA FE IN THEIR OWN UNIQUE WAY, AND
THEN HOW DO YOU FUND THE SYSTEM. I THINK THE FUNDING OF THE
SYSTEM IS ADEQUATE. WHETHER IT’S THE BEST SYSTEM
AROUND, YOU KNOW, WHO’S TO SAY. BUT IT SEEMS TO BE, SINCE
OTHER STATES ARE USING IT AS A MODEL, THAT THE FUNDING
FORMULA IS A GOOD MODEL. YOU KNOW, THE QUESTION IS,
WHAT ELSE, AND I THINK THAT’S WHERE A LOT OF THE
DEBATE IS FOCUSING NOW IN SANTA FE, IS THAT PEOPLE
WANT TO BE ABLE TO FOCUS ON — YOU KNOW, THIS
ADMINISTRATION WANTS TO FOCUS ON PROGRAMS, AND
SAYING THAT PROGRAMS ARE THE KEY; A/K/A/ IT’S CODE FOR
SAYING WE WANT TO DIVERT THE FUNDING SYSTEM AND HAVE THE
MONEY SPENT THE WAY WE WANT TO HAVE IT SPENT. AND IT REALLY COMES DOWN TO
THE FUNDAMENTAL QUESTION OF, DO YOU SUPPORT TEACHERS? I THINK THAT’S WHAT IT
REALLY COMES DOWN TO. BECAUSE WHEN YOU LOOK AT
TEACHERS AND THE ROLE THAT TEACHERS PLAY IN THE
CLASSROOM, NOT JUST AN INSTRUCTOR, BUT A COUNSELOR,
YOU KNOW, HAVING SO MANY DIFFERENT ROLES, SOMETIMES
TAKING SOME OF THE ROLE OF THE PARENT BECAUSE PARENTS
HAVE BEEN ABSENT FROM THAT PROCESS, THAT’S REALLY
WHERE, YOU KNOW, SUPPORTING TEACHERS, AND THAT’S WHERE
THE FUNDING FORMULA GOES. YOU HAVE SOME SCHOOL
DISTRICTS AND SOME DIFFERENT LEGISLATORS WHO WANT TO BE
ABLE TO HAVE A FOCUS ON ADMINISTRATION, AND THE FACT
THAT YOU HAVE SO MANY THINGS FOCUSED ON ADMINISTRATION,
YOU HAVE IN ALBUQUERQUE PUBLIC SCHOOLS MORE RAISES
FOR THE ADMINISTRATION THAN FOR TEACHERS, I THINK
THERE’S SOMETHING WRONG WITH THAT.>>RIGHT. LET ME STAY WITH YOU ON
THIS, BECAUSE I THINK YOU JUST WALKED INTO WHAT YOU DO
EVERY DAY AT YOUR SHOP, AND THAT IS TO TAKE THE PULSE OF
PERCEPTIONS. I’M CURIOUS WHAT, IN YOUR
RESEARCH, THE PERCEPTION IS OF TEACHERS HERE. ARE TEACHERS SUPPORTED IN A
WAY BY THE GENERAL PUBLIC THAT WOULD JUSTIFY THOSE
KIND OF RAISES THAT YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT?>>OH, ABSOLUTELY. WHEN IT COMES TO CREDIBILITY
OF TEACHERS AND TRUST OF TEACHING AS A PROFESSION,
IT’S THROUGH THE ROOF. WHEN YOU FOCUS ON
ADMINISTRATION, NOT A WHOLE LOT OF TRUST. IT’S THE SAME KIND OF
DICHOTOMY THAT WE SEE, YOU KNOW, PEOPLE LOVE THEIR
TEACHER, BUT THEY HATE THE SCHOOL DISTRICT. THEY LOVE THEIR COUNCILOR,
BUT THE CITY COUNCIL, PROBABLY NOT SO MUCH. SCHOOL BOARD, THEY DON’T
KNOW WHO IT IS.>>THE TRUST DEFICIT, WHAT
HE’S TALKING ABOUT, SENATOR, IS INCREDIBLE, ISN’T IT?>>BUT, YOU KNOW, TEACHERS
THEMSELVES REALLY FEEL UNDER THE GUN NOW. THEY REALLY FEEL UNDER
ATTACK. IN SPITE OF THE FACT THAT
PARENTS LIKE THEM, STUDENTS LIKE THEM, THE GENERAL
PUBLIC LIKES THEM, THEY FEEL THAT EDUCATION HAS BEEN
UNDER FUNDED, AND THEY HAVE BEEN DEMORALIZED OVER THE
PAST COUPLE OF YEARS BY EFFORTS TO PRIVATIZE, AND
THEY ARE UPSET BECAUSE PUBLIC SCHOOLS, TO THEM, AND
TO MANY PARENTS, ARE THE BASIC INSTITUTION OF A
DEMOCRATIC, WITH A SMALL D, A DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY. AND IF YOU ARE UNDERMINING
THEM, DE-FUNDING THEM, THEN THAT HAS REAL EFFECTS ON THE
WHOLE SOCIETY.>>LET ME STICK WITH YOU
THERE WITH THE INFAMOUS HOUSE BILL 3 — ALL THE
EDUCATION BILLS SEEM TO BE HOUSE BILL 3 WHEN THEY START
OFF.>>THEY ARE.>>BUT APPROPRIATING
$2.6 BILLION FOR PUBLIC EDUCATION WORKING ITS WAY
THROUGH RIGHT NOW. IT’S GOING TO BE AN
INCREDIBLE FIGHT. DO WE HAVE THE STOMACH FOR A
NUT THAT BIG, FOR A NUMBER THAT BIG? CAN THAT NUMBER SURVIVE
THROUGH THIS PROCESS WHEN YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT
EDUCATION HERE?>>WELL, EDUCATION ACTUALLY
NOW IS CONSUMING A SMALLER PROPORTION OF THE BUDGET
THAN IT HAS IN THE PAST. I REMEMBER WHEN I CAME TO
THE SENATE IN 1997, IT WAS, I THINK, 53% OF THE GENERAL
FUND. IT IS NOW DOWN TO SOMETHING
LIKE 46%, 47% MAYBE. SO IT’S LESS. AND THAT’S THE QUESTION:
ARE WE PUMPING ENOUGH MONEY INTO THE FUNDING FORMULA? I DON’T THINK THERE’S ANY
ARGUMENT. NEW MEXICO WAS WAY OUT IN
FRONT WITH ESTABLISHING AN EQUITABLE FUNDING FORMULA
EARLY ON DURING THE 1960S AND ’70S. WE WERE THE FIRST TO DO IT,
AND THE REST OF THE COUNTRY COPIED IT. BUT THEN IT TURNED OUT WE
WEREN’T PUMPING ENOUGH MONEY INTO THE FUNDING FORMULA.>>SPEAKING OF, JAMIE, NOT
PUMPING ENOUGH MONEY INTO EDUCATION, WE’VE COME INTO A
BIT OF A ROAD BLOCK HERE WITH HOW WE RECEIVE FEDERAL
FUNDING FOR THESE INITIATIVES, AS WELL,
BECAUSE IT TURNS OUT WE WEREN’T SPENDING ENOUGH
MONEY TO MAKE THIS WORK. AND NOW WE HAVE THIS WHOLE
SITUATION WHERE WE HAVE TO APPROPRIATE MONEY NOW JUST
SO WE CAN BE IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE FEDS. ISN’T THAT THE STRANGEST
THING IN THE WORLD? HOW CAN WE NOT SPEND ENOUGH
MONEY ON EDUCATION HERE AND GET DINGED FOR IT?>>IT’S TYPICAL OF WHAT
HAPPENS WHEN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND THE
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION GETS INVOLVED WITH A LOT OF
STATES. HEAVY NATIONAL STANDARDS AND
FORCING THESE DOWN THE THROATS OF THE STATES. I THINK THAT NO CHILD LEFT
BEHIND IS AN EXAMPLE OF SOMETHING THAT WASN’T
COMPLETELY FUNDED, AND IT RECEIVED, IN MY VIEW, EVEN
THOUGH IT WAS MY PRESIDENT THAT WAS THE CHAMPION BEHIND
IT, AND SO WAS TED KENNEDY, I GUESS, BUT YOU KNOW,
LESSONS WERE LEARNED ABOUT HOW THOSE SORT OF THINGS
NEED TO BE FIXED OVER TIME. AND I THINK THAT’S ONE OF
THE LESSONS, I THINK, THAT CAME OUT OF THIS.>>INTERESTING. JOHN, YOUR THOUGHT HERE ON
THIS, AND I WANT TO SPEND SOME TIME ON ACTUAL BILLS
THAT ARE UP THERE, I WANT TO GET YOUR THOUGHTS ON THIS
EARLY.>>SURE.>>IN THE OVERALL IN THIS
SESSION, YOUR SENSE OF WHERE EDUCATION IS HEADED. THERE’S A LOT OF NOISE, A
LOT OF DRUM AND STRAND, BUT WHAT’S POKING OUT THERE TO
YOU THAT’S GOING TO HAVE A CHANCE HERE? IS A CONSTITUTIONAL
AMENDMENT GOING TO HAVE A CHANCE?>>I THINK THE
CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT, WHICH FOR THE VIEWERS IS THE
IDEA OF INCREASING THE ALLOCATION FROM THE LAND
GRANT PERMANENT FUND, AT LEAST FOR A PERIOD OF TIME,
IS PROBABLY THE BEST SHOT, BECAUSE I DO THINK THAT
THERE IS A FAIR DEGREE OF IDEOLOGICAL DIFFERENCE
BETWEEN GOVERNOR MARTINEZ AND THE DEMOCRATS IN THE
LEGISLATURE. I MEAN, WE DO HAVE A VERY
EQUITABLE FORMULA WHEN YOU COMPARE IT TO A PROPERTY TAX
SYSTEM, WHERE YOU HAVE A LOT OF INEQUITIES IN OTHER
STATES WHERE THEIR SCHOOL SYSTEM IS BASED ON PROPERTY
TAXES. BUT THE REALITY IS THAT
THERE HAVE BEEN RECENT STUDIES. IN FACT, OUR LAW FIRM HAS
DONE SOME WORK ON THAT, YOU KNOW. IN OUR STATE CONSTITUTION,
IT’S A PROGRESSIVE ERA CONSTITUTION, 1912, AND IT
PROMISES EQUITABLE PUBLIC EDUCATION AS A PILLAR, AS
SENATOR FELDMAN POINTED OUT, OF A DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY,
WITH A LITTLE D. SO THERE ARE SOME REAL
INEQUITIES IN THE SYSTEM, ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU COMPARE
RURAL/URBAN, WHEN YOU COMPARE MINORITY DOMINATED
DISTRICTS VERSUS MORE ANGLO DOMINATED DISTRICTS. YOU JUST LOOK AT THE
DIFFERENCES, AND ESPECIALLY IN TERMS OF CAPITAL. JUST TAKE A LOOK AT LA CUEVA
HIGH SCHOOL VERSUS SOME OTHER HIGH SCHOOLS IN THE
DISTRICT. SO WE’RE NOT AS EQUITABLE AS
WE NEED TO BE, AND IN MY VIEW AS THE CONSTITUTION
DEMANDS US TO BE. SO THINGS LIKE A
CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT SAYING — YOU KNOW, I THINK
IT IS A RAINY DAY. THE IDEA OF MAINTAINING A
RAINY DAY FUND DOESN’T MAKE A LOT OF SENSE TO ME NOW IF
WE JUST PRESERVE THEM AD INFINITUM, BECAUSE TO ME,
RIGHT NOW THE ECONOMY AND THE STATE THAT NEW MEXICO IS
IN IS A RAINY DAY. SO WE NEED TO PUMP SOME MORE
RESOURCES IN.>>YOU KNOW, EARLY
CHILDHOOD EDUCATION WAS OUTSIDE OF THE FUNDING
FORMULA. SO WHEN WE’RE TALKING ABOUT
THIS MONEY BEING PUMPED INTO EDUCATION, WE’RE NOT TALKING
ABOUT EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION, WHICH HAS HAD
VERY, VERY LITTLE FUNDING. BUT THAT’S WHERE THE RETURN
ON THE INVESTMENT IS THE GREATEST. SO THIS IS, I THINK, THE
REASON FOR THE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT.>>LET ME STAY WITH YOU
ON THIS. PRIVATIZATION HAS COME UP. MIMI STEWART AND TIM KELLER
HAVE COME TOGETHER TO MAKE SURE THAT NEW MEXICO
EDUCATION IS IN NEW MEXICAN HANDS, BASICALLY, OR
PRIVATE, WHOEVER OWNS THESE THINGS. THERE’S A LOT OF INTERESTING
THINGS WE TALK ABOUT. PRIVATIZATION. WHO OWNS THIS. THE MARTINEZ ADMINISTRATION
SAYS, LET’S TAKE A LOOK AT THIS. WOULD YOU AGREE WITH THAT,
AS WELL?>>WOULD I AGREE WITH
PRIVATIZATION?>>BEING CAREFUL ABOUT IT,
AND PUTTING THINGS IN PLACE TO KEEP THAT FROM HAPPENING,
AS A MATTER OF FACT.>>WELL, THE ATMOSPHERE
TODAY IS ALMOST LIKE THE JOHNSON ADMINISTRATION WHEN
THE BIG ISSUE WAS VOUCHERS. YOU KNOW, VOUCHERS,
VOUCHERS, VOUCHERS. AND THE LEGISLATURE I THINK,
VOTED IT DOWN THREE OR FOUR DIFFERENT TIMES. IT WAS A NONSTARTER. YOU KNOW, I THINK RIGHT
NOW — AND THE COMPROMISE THAT WE CAME UP WITH WAS
CHARTER SCHOOLS. BUT THE QUESTION NOW IS,
HAVE CHARTER SCHOOLS — WHAT KIND OF CHARTER SCHOOLS? WHO OWNS THE CHARTER
SCHOOLS? ARE THEY SIMPLY CYBER
ACADEMIES WITH REALLY NO BASIS IN THE STATE AND NO
EXPERIENTIAL COMPONENT, WHICH IS MORE WORRISOME TO
ME THAN THE OWNERSHIP.>>IT’S LIKE THE TAKING UP
OF THE DENIALS, TOM. YOU THINK ABOUT THE EARLY
YEARS OF CHARTER SCHOOL APPLICATIONS, IT SEEMED LIKE
EVERYBODY GOT STAMPED OFF, GO GET THEM, AND NOW IT’S A
MUCH HARDER EYE WHEN YOU LOOK AT THESE THINGS.>>YES. I MEAN, CHARTER SCHOOLS, I
THINK, SERVED A PURPOSE BECAUSE THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS
WERE NOT DOING THEIR JOB IN REALLY PROVIDING A DIVERSE
KIND OF EDUCATIONAL COMPONENT.>>I WANT TO STEP IN ON YOU
A LITTLE BIT AND ASK YOU ABOUT MARY HELEN GARCIA’S
BILL ABOUT 3rd GRADE RETENTION. THIS IS AN ANNUAL, IT SEEMS
LIKE, AN ANNUAL THING NOW, THE LAST COUPLE, THREE
YEARS. BUT WHAT’S INTERESTING,
SHE’S AN EX-TEACHER, PRINCIPAL, ADMINISTRATOR. SHE KNOWS WHERE SHE’S COMING
FROM ON THIS, AND SHE SUPPORTS THE IDEA. IS THIS SOMETHING THAT’S
GOING TO GET A DIFFERENT LOOK BECAUSE A DEMOCRAT IS
BEING A PART OF IT?>>ABSOLUTELY. AND THIS IS WHAT I LOVE
ABOUT IT, IS THAT SHE IS A FORMER TEACHER. FOR SOME REASON, FOR ME, YOU
KNOW, BILLS WHEN THEY’RE INTRODUCED BY FORMER
TEACHERS AND THE BILL HAS TO DO WITH EDUCATION, IT HAS A
LITTLE BIT MORE OOMPH WITH ME. I LIKE THAT IDEA. BUT THE KEY PART OF THE
REPRESENTATIVE’S PROPOSAL IS THAT IT REQUIRES THE PARENT
INVOLVEMENT. IT HAS THAT SIGN-OFF
PORTION. YOU KNOW, IF ALL OF A SUDDEN
THE STUDENT IS PROMOTED, THE PARENT HAS TO ACTUALLY SIGN
OFF.>>LET ME BRING YOU BACK TO
THAT IN A LITTLE BIT. PART OF THE LANGUAGE OF HER
BILL IS IF THE STUDENT IS FALLING BEHIND IN 3rd
GRADE, THERE IS A CHANCE FOR 4th GRADE, RIGHT. YOU CAN PETITION THE
ADMINISTRATION, YOU CAN GET IT. BUT WHAT YOUR POINT IS,
THERE’S A CONTRACT, SO TO SPEAK, THAT THE PARENT HAS
TO BE ABLE TO SIGN AND HOLD TO.>>YES.>>BUT THAT SEEMS A LITTLE
SQUIRRELY TO ME. ANYBODY CAN SAY ANYTHING AT
THE BEGINNING, AND THEN NOT DO ANYTHING. ALL OF A SUDDEN YOUR KID IS
IN THE 4th GRADE AGAIN. YOU WON THE FIGHT.>>YES, SO YOU KIND OF PUSH
THE ISSUE OF PARENT INVOLVEMENT, BECAUSE A
PARENT, WHEN THEY GO AND SIGN IT AND GET TO THAT
PHASE, THEY KNOW THE LIGHT’S ON, THAT PERHAPS THEY NEED
TO STEP UP. YOU KNOW, THE GAME, WHETHER
IT IS CREATING A LEARNING ENVIRONMENT THAT IS A BIT
MORE CONDUCIVE FOR THEIR CHILD, OR MAYBE GOING TO
SCHOOL AND ACTUALLY SEEING WHAT’S GOING ON, MAYBE THERE
ARE SOME PARENTS WHO ARE ACTUALLY DOING THAT, BUT
YET, STILL, SOME KIDS JUST AREN’T GOING TO BE ABLE TO
HAVE THAT CAPACITY, AT WHICH POINT YOU NEED TO TAKE A
LOOK AT OTHER OPTIONS.>>SURE. PARENT INVOLVEMENT, TOUCH ON
THAT A LITTLE BIT, TOO.>>I THINK IT’S HUGE. ONE OF THE BIGGEST ISSUES, I
THINK, THAT’S BEEN FACING NEW MEXICO ALL ALONG IS THAT
WE JUST DON’T HAVE PARENTS THAT ARE REALLY ACTIVE IN
THEIR KIDS’ EDUCATION. IT’S A CULTURAL ISSUE, AND
WE NEED TO FIX THAT AND MAKE SURE THAT EDUCATION IS TAKEN
SERIOUSLY. AND I THINK THAT’S WHY THE
DEMOCRATS HAVE ACTUALLY NOW STARTED TO MAKE MORE OF A
DEBATE BY PROPOSING THEIR OWN BILL. WHAT IS IT CALLED? CREATE READING FIRST.>>THAT’S RIGHT.>>I THINK WHAT IT DOES IS,
IT INVITES A REAL DEBATE, BECAUSE I THINK WHO
DISAGREES WITH THE IDEA THAT A 3rd GRADER NEEDS TO BE
ABLE TO READ BY THE 3rd GRADE. I DON’T THINK ANYBODY
DISAGREES WITH THAT. BUT WHAT’S BECOME, I THINK,
ALMOST PARTISAN ABOUT THIS IS THAT, WELL, YOU KNOW, IT
HAS TO BE MY WAY, WHICH MEANS THAT YOU CAN’T PROMOTE
THEM. I DON’T THINK REPUBLICANS
AND DEMOCRATS NECESSARILY ARE DIVIDED ON THAT ISSUE,
FRANKLY, AND I THINK IT’S TIME FOR THERE TO BE AN
ACTUAL DEBATE ON THE SOLUTION. SO I INVITE THE IDEA THAT
MARY HELEN GARCIA, A DEMOCRAT, IS SPONSORING,
THIS RETENTION.>>LET ME ASK AGAIN, DOES
THAT FUNDAMENTALLY CHANGE THE ARGUMENT THAT MARY HELEN
MAKES?>>I DON’T THINK SO. I THINK IT ADDS SOMETHING
THAT A DEMOCRAT MAY ACTUALLY SAY, LOOK, I’M LOOKING AT IT
FROM ANOTHER LENS, AS MAYBE AN EDUCATOR. BUT I DON’T THINK THAT
NECESSARILY THROWS IT OVER AND SAYS, SLAM DUNK, WE’RE
DONE.>>NO. SHE SPONSORED IT LAST YEAR
AND IT FAILED, SO I DON’T THINK THAT MATTERS. AND THE ALTERNATIVE, OF
COURSE, I THINK IS SPONSORED BY MIMI STEWART, WHO IS
ACTUALLY A READING TEACHER, YOU KNOW. THIS IS ABOUT READING IN THE
EARLY GRADES. I THINK THE DEMOCRATIC
CONTENTION IS, SHOW ME THE MONEY. YOU WANT GOOD READERS, YOU
WANT READERS BY 3rd GRADE, THEN YOU HAVE TO HAVE
INTERVENTION PROGRAMS, YOU HAVE TO HAVE PARENT SUPPORT,
THINGS LIKE EVEN START THAT BRING THE PARENTS INTO THE
SCHOOLS, AND EVEN PARENTS THAT DON’T KNOW HOW TO READ
THEMSELVES, THEY GET SOME TUTORING.>>IT’S GOOD THAT THERE’S
AN ALTERNATIVE VERSUS JUST SAYING NO.>>RIGHT.>>I THINK THAT’S WHAT’S
IMPORTANT.>>LET ME SWING BACK TO OUR
APS GUY, BECAUSE YOU HAVE EXPERIENCE WITH THEM. CLASS SIZE. THERE’S A LITTLE BIT OF A
KERFUFFLE RIGHT NOW ABOUT CLASS SIZE. YOUR THOUGHTS THERE. IT’S INTERESTING.>>YOU KNOW, IT HAPPENED —
IT’S BEEN GOING ON FOR YEARS.>>SURE.>>YOU KNOW, YOU JUST NEED
TO FOCUS ON SMALLER CLASS SIZES, PERIOD. THAT’S THE ONLY WAY THAT
YOU’RE GOING TO EFFECT CHANGE. THE CHALLENGE IS THAT APS,
AND I’M GOING TO BE CRITICAL OF THE ALBUQUERQUE PUBLIC
SCHOOLS, BECAUSE THERE IS SUCH A LARGE AMOUNT OF
ADMINISTRATION. SURE, IT’S SMALL COMPARED TO
OTHER DISTRICTS OF SIMILAR SIZE, PERHAPS, BUT LET’S
JUST PUT MORE MONEY INTO THE CLASSROOM. LET’S FOCUS MORE ON
TEACHERS. AND, YEAH, IT’S GOING TO
COST A LOT OF EXTRA MONEY, BUT THAT’S WHY THERE ARE
DIFFERENT PROGRAMS LIKE THE PERMANENT FUND SOLUTION
PROVIDED BY SENATOR SANCHEZ. LET’S START, YOU KNOW,
REALLY FUNDING WHAT NEEDS TO HAPPEN AND REDUCE THESE
CLASS SIZES.>>JOHN, LET ME GIVE YOU A
CHANCE TO WEIGH IN ON THIS, AS WELL.>>I DO THINK TO SOME
DEGREE, AS A RESOURCES DEBATE, THAT THE PARTISAN
DIVIDE ON EDUCATION TENDS TO BE THE IDEA THAT WE CAN JUST
SOLVE IT WITH SOME NEW POLICY SOLUTIONS. SO I THINK LIKE SENATOR
FELDMAN HAD IT RIGHT WHEN SHE’S TALKING ABOUT, AS I
THINK DEMOCRATIC SENATOR JOHN SAPIEN HAS PUT IT, KIND
OF INTERVENTION RATHER THAN RETENTION. IF YOU’RE REALLY GOING TO
GET KIDS READING BY 3rd GRADE, IT’S NOT JUST GOING
TO BE A MANDATE FROM ON HIGH. AND TO GIVE REPRESENTATIVE
GARCIA CREDIT, I DON’T THINK SHE’S JUST TRYING TO MANDATE
IT. BUT I DO THINK TO SOME
DEGREE THE GOVERNOR HAS THIS VERY PUNITIVE ATTITUDE; IT’S
ALL ABOUT HOLDING KIDS BACK, OR IT’S ALL ABOUT TRYING TO
PUNISH THEM.>>IS THAT THE PROBLEM ALL
ALONG? THE TONE IS A LITTLE HARSH.>>I THINK THE TONE, AND IT
IS SIMPLY BAD POLICY. YOU’RE NOT GOING TO TEACH
SOMEBODY TO READ BY JUST SAYING, WE’RE GOING TO HOLD
YOU BACK, OR YOU’RE NOT GOING TO PROVIDE A PARENT
INVOLVEMENT BY KIND OF MANDATING A CONTRACT. IT’S GOING TO REQUIRE SOME
REAL PEDAGOGUING.>>SURE. NICE USE OF WORDS
THERE. PEDAGOGUING, I LIKE THAT. YOU KNOW, IT’S INTERESTING,
I’M GOING TO START A SENTENCE WITH: IF PAULINE
EISENSTADT WAS STILL IN THE LEGISLATURE, JUST TO GET
YOUR ATTENTION, BECAUSE SHE WATCHES. YOU KNOW WHAT SHE’D BE
TALKING ABOUT? TABLETS, THESE THINGS, FOR
KIDS. SHE’D BE TALKING ABOUT
TECHNOLOGY, BECAUSE THE SCIENCE IS SO CLEAR NOW
ABOUT LEARNING EARLY ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE, HUGE
PROGRESS. THE $50 TABLET IS COMING, WE
HAVE TO GET READY FOR IT. BUT MAYBE NEXT YEAR. WE’LL SEE WHAT HAPPENS. IN A MOMENT, THE BATTLE OVER
WATER BETWEEN NEW MEXICO AND TEXAS, AND EFFORTS TO REFORM
WATER USE AT THE CAPITOL.

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