Albuquerque Hosts National Public Forum On Education Facilitated By Progressive Leaders John Podesta And Robert Borosage

ALBUQUERQUE — September 28, 2004 – Albuquerque is host to a national public hearing intended to identify innovative and effective models for improving education. John Podesta, President & CEO of the Center for American Progress and former chief-of-staff for President Clinton, and Robert Borosage, president of the Institute for America’s Future chose Albuquerque as one of six cities to showcase as models of educational innovations.

Albuquerque’s forum will focus on workforce development and creating a new agenda for ensuring our students have the tools to succeed. New Mexico has received notoriety for its lower than average test scores and above average high school dropout rates.  However, there are programs that are working and that is what the forum will focus on.

“By visiting cities such as Albuquerque, we can learn how innovative approaches are working to affect change in education,” says John Podesta, President & CEO, Center for American Progress. “We will take personal accounts and hard data that reflect what works and what doesn’t work, and we will put it the hands of policy makers who can’t afford to ignore it.”

“Concerned New Mexicans know how important the basic building blocks are for a successful and productive workforce,” said Robert Borosage, President of the Institute for America’s Future. “This is not about just narrow reforms and the lack of resources for education and workforce development. We are developing a blueprint for systemic change that can help remake our public schools. We have a responsibility to ensure that every child — from Albuquerque to Florida — has the tools needed to succeed.”

Governor Richardson quote?

The State Secretary of Education recently released reports that 56 percent of 11th graders scored as proficient or better in reading while 47 percent rated proficient in math on the New Mexico High School Standards Assessment.  Additionally, the test results showed great disparity among ethnicity, family income and English proficiency.

Even in the face of research findings such as this, the United States struggles to rally citizens, legislators and leaders to institute real and positive public education reform, including essential investments in resources that work. However, there are “pockets” around the country where “home-grown” solutions to the education crisis are proving successful against all odds. The Center for American Progress and the Institute for America’s Future have created a task force, Renewing Our Schools, Securing Our Future, to conduct a series of public forums in select communities where some success is being achieved. The task force will document key findings in order to influence public debate and to ultimately adapt best practices in schools around the country. The series will conclude with a set of recommendations for modernizing and renewing public education – reforms essential to the nation’s future of economic and civic well-being.

At the New Mexico public hearing, local and national education advocates will provide insight on how initiatives around the state have been approached, what the challenges have been and where success is being seen. The speakers include:
• Governor Bill Richardson
• Louis Caldera, President, University of New Mexico
• Dr. Veronica Garcia, New Mexico Secretary of Education
• Kathi Bearden, Chair, New Mexico Higher Education Commission
• Michael Glennon, President, TVI
• Dr. Joseph Martin, President, SIPI
• Tony Monfiletto, Founder & CEO, Amy Biehl Charter High School
• Dr. Lorenzo Gonzales, Master Teacher, Math & Science Academy

National Education Forum Page Three
The National Task Force members attending the New Mexico hearing include:
• Louis Caldera, President, University of New Mexico, and former Secretary of the Army
• John Buchanan, Former Member, U.S. House of Representatives
• Delia Pompa, DMP Associates and former director, Office of Bilingual Education and Minority Languages Affairs, United States Department of Education
• Chauncey Veatch, national teacher of the year, 2002-2003, Coachella Valley High School

About the Center for American Progress
The Center for American Progress is a nonpartisan research and educational institute dedicated to promoting a strong, just and free America that ensures opportunity for all. It believes Americans are bound together by a common commitment to these values and aspires to ensure national policies reflect these values. Visit the website at

About the Institute for America’s Future
Institute for America’s Future is a center of nonpartisan research and education. Drawing on a network of scholars, activists and leaders across the country, the Institute develops policy ideas, educational materials and outreach programs. The Institute provides a growing network of progressive writers, leaders and activists with facts, ideas, and arguments, through an active web page and e-mail network. Visit the website at