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Wednesday / April 24.

Who’s Left to Speak for A Majority of New Mexico Families?

A picture (or in this case many) is worth a thousand words, or so I hear. In recognition of National Charter School week, here are select numbers, pictures, and quotations to frame the national as well as local conversations happening here in New Mexico:

1. The Racial/Ethnic Picture of New Mexico Overall

  • 46.4% Hispanic, 41.4% White, 8.8% American Indian, 2% African American, and 1.5% Asian American

2. New Mexico Student Enrollment Demographics

3. Results of A Recent DFER Poll of Presidential Voters from 2016

  • It found that “White Democrats are strongly opposed to charters, while Black and Hispanic Democrats are modestly in favor”
  • It’s not clear what is driving the racial divide. It “could be that Black and Hispanic Democrats have more direct experience with charter schools, or may also be more dissatisfied with schools in their communities”

4. Nationwide Demographics of Charter School Students

  • 32% Hispanic, 33% White, 1% American Indian, 27% African American, and 4% Asian American
  • Note the nearly doubling of Hispanic students in charter schools over the past 15 years

5. Yet Another Recent, National Poll from Education Next

  • Non-White respondents were also more likely to grade the public schools in their community as “D” or “F”

6. New Mexico’s True Drivers of Education Policy

ABQ Teachers Federation (ATF) President, Ellen Bernstein (D)
National Education Association-NM Executive Director, Charles Bowyer (D)
National Education Association-NM Executive Director, Charles Bowyer (D)
American Federation of Teachers-NM President, Stephanie Ly (D)
National Education Association-NM President, Betty Patterson (D)

7. Quotations from Two of America’s Civil Rights Champions

James Baldwin, “Introduction by James Baldwin,” in Robert Campbell, The Chasm: The Life and Death of a Great Experiment in Ghetto Education
Kenneth Clark, a psychologist mainly known for conducting, along with his wife Mamie, studies on racial identity that played a central role in the landmark Supreme Court school desegregation decision “Brown v. Board of Education.”

8. To Summarize:

  • A majority of families and students and New Mexico are Hispanic;
  • Roughly 8% of K12 students in New Mexico attend charter schools;
  • A majority of Black and Hispanic Democratic primary voters view charter schools favorably, while opposition is dominated by White Democrats;
  • Nationally 2/3s of charter school students are not White;
  • Black and Hispanic families are less likely to be happy with their neighborhood public school and (again) more likely to support charter schools;
  • Statewide education policy is driven by a cabal of White “Progressive” Democrats; and
  • Civil rights leaders predicted the current national & local attacks on education liberation via charter schools over half a century ago

These questions remain:

  • Who exactly is representing the views and interests of a majority of New Mexico’s students and families?
  • And why do the attacks on charter schools selected by those same families continue on?