To: Sheryl Stapleton (NM-19), Patricia Lundstrom (NM-9), Jimmie Hall (NM-28), Antonio Maestas (NM-16), Dennis Roch (NM-67), Alonzo Baldonado (NM-8), Nate Gentry (NM-30), Tomás E. Salazar (NM-70), David M. Gallegos (NM-61), Carl Tru...

New Mexico: Reclaim the Promise of Public Education--Our Schools, Our Solutions

New Mexico wants great neighborhood public schools that are safe and welcoming, are fully funded and have teachers who are well-prepared, are well-supported, and have manageable class sizes and time to collaborate. We want our schools to be centers of our communities and ensure that children and families have access to wraparound services to meet their social, emotional and health needs. We want curriculum that focuses on teaching and learning, not testing, and that includes art, music and the sciences. We want to put the public back in public education.

The top-down policies of the last decade have not worked. It's clear that austerity, competition, division and hyper-testing have not and will not help our students. Top-down edicts, sanctions, mass school closures and denigrating teachers will not move the needle in the right direction. Our children and our schools deserve better.

We want a new direction for our schools. Nationally, educators, students, parents, community organizations, civil rights advocates and faith leaders recently met in Los Angeles and together endorsed "The Principles that Unite Us."

Following the meeting in Los Angeles, New Mexicans created Keep the Promise for New Mexico’s Future, a coalition of organizations, educators, parents and students who want to see public education in New Mexico thrive. Coalition members have already shared stories of education challenges and suggestions for solutions with more than 10,000 people in telephone and in-person town hall meetings across the state. Members of Keep the Promise will travel around New Mexico on a statewide bus tour Dec. 9-13 to continue working on taking back our public education. Check out www.promisefornewmexico.org to see when Keep the Promise will be in your community.

I urge you to sign on to “The Principles that Unite Us” and the “Keep the Promise Vision Statement.” We need our leaders to stand with us, united around a common vision for our schools.

Read more about “The Principles that Unite Us” at www.reclaimpublicednow.org/principles.

For Keep the Promise’s vision statement, local events and opportunities to participate, visit www.promisefornewmexico.org.

Why is this important?

In October, educators, students, parents, community organizations, civil rights advocates and faith leaders met in Los Angeles and together endorsed "The Principles That Unite Us." Now, on Dec. 9, we're taking action in [area] as part of a National Day of Action to Reclaim the Promise of Public Education. We're uniting around a common vision for our schools.

Local teachers and parents, community groups and labor unions, students and faith leaders are united to reclaim the promise of public education for all children. We want great neighborhood public schools that are fully funded and are centers of our community, with wraparound services and curriculum that focuses on teaching and learning, not testing.

New Mexicans created Keep the Promise for New Mexico’s Future, a coalition of organizations, educators, parents and students who want to see public education in New Mexico thrive. Coalition members have already shared stories of education challenges and suggestions for solutions with more than 10,000 people in telephone and in-person town hall meetings across the state. Members of Keep the Promise will travel around New Mexico on a statewide bus tour Dec. 9-13 to continue working on taking back our public education. Check out www.promisefornewmexico.org to see when the Keep the Promise bus will be in your community.

We need our elected leaders to sign on to “The Principles that Unite Us” and the “Keep the Promise Vision Statement.” By signing these petitions, you'll be telling New Mexico’s leaders that you're united with us and that they should get on board.

Together, we can reclaim public education as a propeller of our economy, an anchor of our democracy, and a gateway to opportunity for every child.

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