Today, educational outcomes for students in New Mexico are poor. While our students are full of potential, in many places fewer than 50% of them will graduate from high school. Yet we believe without hesitation that our state offers an enormous opportunity to reach educational equity for our students. Our population is small, and thus the impact organizations like ours can make in New Mexico is large. Bilingual by our constitution, diversity runs deep within our state’s heart and the potential exists to help usher in a new era of cooperation across racial and class divides.
Over the last 10 years, our corps has grown from an isolated group of teachers to the largest systemic education intervention in New Mexico. This year, 120 corps members will teach in two sub-regions and lead innovative community partnerships with the potential to change outcomes for thousands of students.
Our corps in northwest New Mexico and northeast Arizona serves the Navajo Nation, Zuni Pueblo, Pueblo of Laguna, and the small towns in between. Among the founding regions for our Native Achievement Initiative, northwest New Mexico is deeply engaged in the effort to recruit more American Indians into the corps, build stronger relationships with tribal communities, and ensure that all teachers are employing culturally-responsive teaching techniques.
Near the Mexico and El Paso, Texas borders, our charter region in southern New Mexico opened in 2012 to serve the communities of Alamogordo, Las Cruces, and Gadsden. Our corps members in southern New Mexico are piloting programs to meet the unique needs of students in border communities, including an initiative to deliver math and science content in Spanish with Las Cruces Public Schools.
By partnering with the communities in which they teach, our corps members are committed to creating long-term, sustainable change. With hard work and continued collaborative efforts, we are convinced that one day educational inequity will be eliminated in New Mexico.