Education Reform

Our Goal is to Advocate for education policies and practices that will lead to a direct improvement in the academic achievement of students in public schools and give every child the opportunity to receive a high-quality education that adequately prepares them for success in college, the workforce, and life.

Our Core Beliefs:

  • Every child is capable of learning and improving academically, regardless of their background, upbringing, demographics, or disabilities
  • The success of New Mexico’s schools should be measured primarily by whether students are learning
  • Current academic performance is alarming and concerning (3 in 10 students read on grade level, graduation rate is 74%)
  • Closing persistent achievement gaps and improving the equity of educational opportunities will be required to make long-term academic gains
  • Intervening early with struggling students is critical to preventing children from becoming discouraged in later grades and dropping out
  • Our schools are the workforce pipeline for New Mexico’s employers; current academic achievement data significantly hurts business recruitment and growth
Charlotte Otero-Goodwin is a current professional with the Public Service Company of New Mexico, and has been volunteering with the program for several years.

The Chamber’s Education Reform Policy Planks

  1. Measure academic achievement in a consistent and transparent way; use data to support struggling students, turn around low-performing schools, and replicate success
  2. Develop and empower effective school leaders
  3. Provide more high-quality education options for all students
  4. Expand access to high-quality early childhood education programs

Initiatives and Progress

    • Several ABQ-area, Chamber-backed charter schools successfully launched or expanded in 2018-2019, with positive results for their students
    • Statewide, slightly fewer charter schools are serving many more students and getting better academic outcomes
    • A Chamber-commissioned public opinion survey found that 70% of Bernalillo County parents support opening more charter schools
    • As part of a broad coalition, the Chamber successfully defeated a charter school moratorium proposal and a legislative attempt to impose an annual cap on the number of students who can attend charter schools
    • Over the past 8 years, as academic standards were raised and aligned with college readiness, the NM graduation rate rose eleven percentage points to an all-time high of 74%; at the same time, the college remediation rate has fallen from 50% to 33% 

The Chamber was a key partner in a coalition that successfully helped pass a state budget and legislation that:

  • Increases early childhood spending by $40 million
  • Establishes a new cabinet department to oversee, coordinate, and be accountable for early childhood programs
  • Does not tap the permanent fund to pay for programs or distribute pre-K funding through the traditional school funding formula
  • Maintains a differentiated delivery system for early childhood programs and emphasizes high standards and early childhood workforce development
  • Expands extended-school-year instruction to cover more at-risk students and elementary schools across the state
Mission Achievement and Success Charter School founder and principal JoAnn Mitchell (right) takes Leadership Albuquerque members — including Leadership Albuquerque co-chairs Bohannan Huston President and Managing Partner Bruce Stidworthy (center) and CNM's Debbie Johnson (far right) on a tour of her top-rated K-12 campus

A Day to Learn About Learning: Leadership Albuquerque Class Meets With Educational Leaders and Policymakers As Part Of Early and K-12 Education Program Day

Last month, the Chamber’s 2019-2020 Leadership Albuquerque cohort took part in this year’s Early & K-12 Education Program Day, covering public education funding policy, new …

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Chamber President & CEO Terri Cole with Senator Michael Padilla at the 2019 signing ceremony for the bill establishing the Early Childhood Education and Care Department

Funding Stability: Chamber Endorses Permanent Fund for Early Childhood Education and Care; Governor’s Budget Recommendation Proposes a $320 Million One-Time Appropriation To Fund

Last month, the Chamber’s Board voted unanimously to support the creation of a new endowment fund to support and expand early childhood programs in New …

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Economic Development Award

Economic Development Award: Chamber Receives Award From New Mexico Gas Company Supporting Advocacy Work for Bold Issues Groups

At the Chamber’s Education Reform Bold Issues Group event this week, New Mexico Gas Company Manager of Economic Development and Community Affairs Mary Homan presented …

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education matters

Education Matters: Public Education Department Secretary-Designate Ryan Stewart Addresses Chamber Event on Public Education Priorities and Goals

Chamber President & CEO Terri Cole moderates a Q&A session with New Mexico Public Education Secretary-Designate Ryan Stewart at this week’s Education Reform Bold Issues …

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2020 State Budget Outlook and Early Childhood Fund

2020 State Budget Outlook and Early Childhood Fund: Chamber Board Hosts DFA Secretary Olivia Padilla-Jackson and Thornburg Foundation Early Childhood Policy Expert Michael Weinberg

Department of Finance and Administration Secretary Olivia Padilla-Jackson presents to the Chamber’s Board on the state’s budget projections With the 2020 legislative session fast approaching, …

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Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham addresses nearly 250 Chamber members and community leaders during a reception at the Sandia Golf Club Event Center last week

‘A Strong Partnership’: Chamber Hosts Reception with Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham To Discuss Economic Development, Education, and More

Earlier this week, the Chamber hosted a reception to hear from Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham on a range of topics, including fiscal and economic development updates …

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Statesman of the Year Awardee Sen. John Arthur Smith, alongside Chamber Board Chair and PNM Resources President and CEO Pat Vincent-Collawn and Chamber President and CEO Terri Cole

“Strong Leaders Doing Amazing Work”: Chamber Awards Legislators, ABQ City Councilor, Early Childhood Advocates, and Bernalillo County District Attorney at 2019 Ceremony

Earlier this week, more than 100 business leaders and elected officials were in attendance as the Chamber held its 2019 Chamber Awards ceremony at the …

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Albuquerque Reads Wins Grant: United Way of Central New Mexico Awards More than $15K to Chamber Literacy Partnership With APS

Last week, the Chamber received notification that United Way of Central New Mexico made an award of more than $15,000 to support Albuquerque Reads, the …

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2019 Legislative Summary: Chamber Releases Report on Outcomes of Latest Legislative Session

The Chamber this week released its 2019 New Mexico Legislative Summary, highlighting the successes, challenges, and major policy changes resulting from an historic and eventful …

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Senior Airman Nicole Scott (above) says that her grandmother was a teacher, and that she believes in her giving her time, and that the military believes strongly in community outreach and volunteering. Nicole describes tutoring with ABQ Reads is an “awesome experience! All the staff were super friendly. The kids were really fun to be around, and I really liked seeing them learn and absorb everything.”

Albuquerque Reads Volunteer Spotlights: Join Leaders From Across the Community as an ABQ Reads Literacy Tutor

Albuquerque Reads, the Chamber’s partnership with Albuquerque Public Schools to pair reading tutors from the community with students at some of the highest-needs elementary schools, …

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Learn more about how we promote educational reform across the state.

Contact the Chamber by email or by phone. We’ll be happy to answer all your questions – and determine whether involvement in our educational reform initiative is of interest to you.
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