Albuquerque – American Federation of Teachers New Mexico President Stephanie Ly released the following statement:
“The resignation of New Mexico Public Education Secretary Hanna Skandera is welcome news for New Mexico’s educators.
“While we recognize this is an opportunity to reset the course New Mexico’s public education has taken under Governor Martinez and Secretary Skandera, and we sincerely hope her replacement is willing to meaningfully include stakeholder input and work towards strengthening education as a profession, recognizing that a strong system of public education is the foundation of a successful society.
“On Governor Martinez and Secretary Skandera’s watch in New Mexico, our State slid from 37th to 49th in the nation in the quality of our public education, was subjected to relentless attacks on public schools in favor of charter and private schools, had to fight against voucher schemes raiding public school funding, fought mandatory flunking of our students based on standardized testing, was subjected to abusive levels of over-testing of our students, and faced the institution of the nation’s most punitive evaluation system which has contributed to historic shortages of educators and students studying to enter the field of education.
“Whomever is named as the new Secretary of Education in New Mexico, they will have to quickly use their position to advocate for New Mexico’s public schools to avoid millions of dollars of cuts under President Trump’s proposed budget, potentially further harming an already fragile and underfunded system in New Mexico. We are ready to work together with a new Secretary, and are calling on Governor Martinez to name a replacement with deep and meaningful education experience who is equally ready to work with educators, parents, communities, and other stakeholders in an honest and productive way, prioritizes New Mexico students and educators.”