54th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - first session, 2019


Sheryl Williams Stapleton and Javier Martínez and

Tomás E. Salazar and Angelica Rubio and Antonio "Moe" Maestas








     WHEREAS, a free, public and sufficient education is guaranteed for all children of New Mexico; and

     WHEREAS, New Mexicans honor their heritage, cultures and languages as evidenced in the Hispanic Education Act, the Indian Education Act and the Bilingual Multicultural Education Act; and
    WHEREAS, part of the significant inheritance of New Mexico's children is New Mexico's tapestry of diverse knowledge systems and history of multicultural communities; and

     WHEREAS, New Mexico's children bring a diversity of assets and strengths to their learning from their communities of origin and are the state's treasure; and

     WHEREAS, according to the 2018 New Mexico Kids Count Data Book, published by New Mexico voices for children, seventy-six percent of New Mexico's public school student population consists of children of color, many of whom are underachieving academically; and

     WHEREAS, New Mexico ranks fiftieth in reading proficiency and forty-ninth in math proficiency among the states; and

     WHEREAS, education week quality counts 2019 ranks New Mexico as fiftieth on its "chance-for-success index", which grades the nation and states on thirteen indicators, capturing the critical role that education plays as a person moves from childhood through the kindergarten through twelfth grade system and into college and the workforce; and
    WHEREAS, Hispanic, Native American and African American students are dropping out of high school or post-secondary education in numbers that severely threaten the social and economic welfare of the state; and

     WHEREAS, these students represent a significant portion of New Mexico's future workforce; and
    WHEREAS, technological innovations continue to create jobs for a skilled workforce, and New Mexico's students must be prepared for the jobs of the future; and
    WHEREAS, a well-educated workforce and citizenry is widely viewed as the basis for economic stability and competitiveness; and

     WHEREAS, New Mexico is one of the most diverse states in the nation, and this diversity is reflected in the strengths and needs of New Mexico's students; and

     WHEREAS, the ability of highly qualified teachers to address the learning needs of all New Mexico's students, including those students who learn differently as a result of disability, culture, language or socioeconomic status, forms the framework for the New Mexico teacher competencies for licensure levels one, two and three-A assessment criteria benchmarks; and

     WHEREAS, all teachers in New Mexico must recognize student diversity and create an atmosphere conducive to the promotion of positive student involvement and self-concept; and

     WHEREAS, level one teachers at the provisional level must demonstrate sensitivity and responsiveness to the personal ideas, learning needs, interests and feelings of students with disabilities or from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds; and

     WHEREAS, level three-A teachers at the mastery level must demonstrate an awareness of the influences of context, disability, language and culture on student learning; and

     WHEREAS, witnesses in the consolidated cases of Yazzie v. State of New Mexico and Martinez v. State of New Mexico have provided testimony on the benefits of multicultural education to New Mexico students; and

     WHEREAS, multicultural education supports all students academically, culturally and personally, reversing low academic expectations, poor student-teacher relationships and marginalizing programming, such as remedial classwork, that commonly leads students to drop out; and

     WHEREAS, students of teachers who believed and acted on principles of culturally responsive teaching made greater gains in reading than students of teachers whose beliefs and teaching were not consistent with culturally responsive teaching; and

     WHEREAS, evidence has revealed that a well-designed multicultural education can have a positive impact on students' cross-racial attitudes and understanding; and

     WHEREAS, testimony has revealed that a lack of professional development in culturally responsive, or multicultural, pedagogy has been observed in school districts in recent years; and

     WHEREAS, culturally and linguistically responsive approaches to teaching could be more clearly defined; and
     WHEREAS, New Mexico only began to adopt standards for multicultural education in 2017; and

     WHEREAS, providing a multicultural education to preschoolers is an important part of preparing a child to be successful; and
     WHEREAS, the state must develop and support twenty-first century multicultural education for all students;
     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO that the public education department be requested to convene a multicultural education task force to develop a definition of multicultural education and to provide a report on the status of multicultural education in New Mexico; and

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the public education department be requested to include as members of the task force representatives who have technical knowledge of and expertise in multicultural education, including the following:

          A. two enrolled members of Indian nations, tribes or pueblos;

          B. five members who are kindergarten through twelfth grade teachers, school principals, superintendents, board members, other education administrators or higher education faculty who are from different ethnic or religious groups and of different geographical areas of the state, with at least one representing special education;

          C. five parents of multicultural students, who encompass diverse racial, ethnic, nationality, language, religious, class, gender, sexual orientation and exceptionality groups, with students enrolled in multicultural education programs in public schools and charter schools;

          D. at least three multicultural education students;

          E. at least one member of the senate, appointed by the president pro tempore of the senate; and

          F. at least one member of the house of representatives, appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives; and
     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the legislative education study committee and the legislative finance committee be requested to assist the task force; and

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the multicultural education task force be requested to present its findings and recommendations to the appropriate interim legislative committee by November 1, 2019; and

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that copies of this memorial be transmitted to the secretary of public education, the secretary of higher education, the chair of the legislative education study committee and the chair of the legislative finance committee.

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