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WHEREAS, education is the key to the twenty-first
century, both in terms of economic prosperity and personal
achievement; and
WHEREAS, today's "new economy" is knowledge-based,
entrepreneurial and globally competitive to an extent that was
almost unimaginable even a decade ago, yet New Mexico students
lag significantly in most measures of elementary and secondary
academic success, thus imperiling both their individual
prospects and those of the state; and
WHEREAS, a competitive, technically capable work force
is essential to New Mexico's economic future, and a reasonable
level of mathematics and science awareness among its
population is an ever more important part of good civic
decision-making; and
WHEREAS, in recent years the state has made significant
strides in improving teacher pay, increasing professional
development opportunities and elevating teacher qualification
and certification standards, and the state's mathematics and
science curricular standards are now among the best in the
nation; and
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WHEREAS, the legislature funded a mathematics and
science bureau in the public education department, which the
secretary of public education created in July 2006, and the
Mathematics and Science Education Act was passed by the
legislature and signed by the governor in 2007; and
WHEREAS, in 2006-2007, the New Mexico mathematics and
science advisory council developed a strategic action plan for
advancing mathematics and science education that will increase
student interest, participation and achievement in mathematics
and science; raise public awareness and support for the
importance of mathematics and science in New Mexico's economic
health and security; and establish effective collaborations
with internal and external partners; and
WHEREAS, from that strategic action plan arose "New
Mexico project 2012", which is a comprehensive six-part
proposal that uses one of the most important resources the
state has, its nationally and internationally recognized
scientists, mathematicians and engineers; and
WHEREAS, New Mexico project 2012 proposes to use
subject-matter experts from the state's national laboratories
and the private sector as New Mexico project 2012 volunteers
to give lectures or other classroom assistance in their areas
of expertise and to mentor public school teachers in
mathematics and science in order to improve the knowledge,
competence and confidence of public school students and
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teachers in mathematics and science; and
WHEREAS, the goal of New Mexico project 2012 is simple
yet dramatic: in five years, New Mexico's public elementary
and secondary school students will be among the nation's
leaders in mathematics and science academic achievement; and
WHEREAS, the purpose of the New Mexico project 2012 is
A. improve mathematics and science content study
in the pre-service education of elementary and secondary
teachers to prepare them well to teach a modern mathematics or
science curriculum;
B. expand professional development and in-service
opportunities for mathematics and science teachers so they may
stay abreast of rapidly changing ideas about mathematics and
science teaching and new mathematics and science content;
C. draw on the extensive mathematics and science
expertise of New Mexico's very large community of
mathematicians, scientists and engineers to provide
specialized content knowledge; to give students needed
tutoring, mentoring and career advice; and to help in
providing professional development activities for teachers;
D. provide quality distance learning opportunities
for New Mexico's rural communities via the innovative digital
education and learning in New Mexico system, known as "IDEAL-
NM", and related projects, television programming and
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broadband internet access;
E. assist in the evaluation of current strategies
used in the public schools and classrooms for teaching and
learning mathematics and science; and integrate those subjects
with other essential skills such as inquiry-based learning
aptitude and writing and literacy acquisition; and
F. build a statewide "education community" that
includes students, parents, teachers, school administrators
and boards, state and local governments and the business
community, all united toward this exciting goal; and
WHEREAS, the legislature, the governor, the
congressional delegation and the New Mexico business community
have all made clear their commitment to revolutionary
improvements in education generally and in mathematics and
science education in particular;
STATE OF NEW MEXICO that it express its support of New Mexico
project 2012 and that it encourage all the other important
participants, from the governor and the secretary of public
education to school districts, teachers, students, parents and
business and community leaders, to show their commitment to
New Mexico's current and future generations of young people by
supporting and aiding the implementation of New Mexico project
2012; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the public education
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department, the legislative education study committee, the
coalition of school administrators, statewide teacher
organizations and other interested groups unite to undertake a
creative and effective public relations effort to enable young
people and the state to realize a rewarding future; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that copies of this memorial be
transmitted to the governor, the public education department,
the legislative education study committee and the coalition of
school administrators for appropriate distribution.