This examination of key issues in New Mexico public education emphasizes policies and trends that will remain dominant in shaping schools and curricula in the state. Educational reform is a constant in New Mexico, as is the influence of politics since nearly one-half of the state's budget goes to education. But several other significant themes emerge. The vignettes included throughout the text are included to offer human interest touches to our New Mexico story.
The state's multicultural heritage, for example, has left a lasting imprint on public education in the shape of bilingual education and the guarantee of funding regardless of socioeconomic and ethnic differences from district to district. The federal presence that shapes so much of New Mexico also affects funding for education, from Bureau of Indian Affairs schools to meals for disadvantaged children. As elsewhere in the nation, New Mexico's school operations in general and curricular policy in particular require an increasingly challenging balancing act in which educators must comply with federal and state mandates while responding to demands for accountability from media, business, and local special interest groups.
Designed for use in classes to prepare teachers, principals, and superintendents as well as specialists on the politics and financing of education, this long-needed book will also be useful as a reference and brief history for educational leaders, school board members, public education department personnel, education commission members, legislators, governors, parents, and special interest groups.
John B. Mondragón is a professor in the College of Education at the University of New Mexico. He had a long and distinguished tenure as a public school administrator.
Ernest S. Stapleton is a professor in the College of Education at the University of New Mexico, and had a long and distinguished tenure as a public school administrator.