Does New Mexico Need a Hispanic Education Act?

By Mary Ann Zehr — December 07, 2009 1 min read
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Veronica Garcia, the public education secretary for New Mexico, is backing a proposed Hispanic Education Act in the state that would include curricula based on Hispanic culture and language, according to the Associated Press. New Mexico governor Bill Richardson, a Democrat, proposed the legislation.

Garcia says the act would help to close the achievement gap between Hispanic students and their white and Asian counterparts.

Remember that over in Arizona, a curriculum in the Tucson school district that focuses on the history and culture of Mexican-Americans has been controversial. Meanwhile, in Florida, a state-funded task force contends that only eight of Florida’s 67 school districts are complying with a state law to include African-American studies in the curriculum, as my colleague Sean Cavanagh mentioned on this blog.

Some legislators in New Mexico are arguing that a separate Hispanic Education Act isn’t necessary. Others question if the state has money to pay for such a proposal.

Garcia credits the state’s Indian Education Act of 2003, which supports tribes in implementing curricula in Native American languages, culture, and history, with improving Native Americans’ scores in reading and math, the Associated press article says.

I’d like to hear more about the Indian Education Act of 2003. If you know something about it and its impact, hit the comment button here.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.