October 26, 2017
Education Secretary Christopher Ruszkowski
NM Public Education Department
300 Don Gaspar Avenue
Santa Fe, NM 87501
The Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) Foundation commends you and the Public Education Department’s decision to adopt the Next Generation Science Standards in their entirety. In listening to concerned voices from around the State, removing proposed content changes, and keeping the NGSS framework and performance expectations in the NM STEM Ready Standards, the PED has taken a great step toward providing a world-class science education for all public school children. This is a big win for our students, teachers, and communities.
Looking ahead, LANL Foundation is committed to advocating for funding and supporting PED’s collaborative efforts among stakeholders to build a strategic implementation plan for the NM STEM Ready Standards that incorporates NGSS and the six NM-centric standards. A continued open process will ensure that understanding, equity, and positive outcomes are at the forefront of the dialog and planning during each phase.
With the new standards going into effect in July, 2018, swift yet mindful action must be taken in preparation. Several school districts and educational programs in New Mexico have already implemented NGSS. They know first-hand that NGSS curriculum, the dimensionality of how it is taught, and the preparation of educators to teach these standards are already creating scientists and engaged citizens of tomorrow. Shared current best practices within our state and among other states in various stages of NGSS adoption will guide the local planning efforts and statewide roll-out. We urge you to allow them to serve as leaders, having paved the way for the funding models, logistics, teacher professional development, materials management, curriculum adoption, and student outcomes that are so critical to successful program delivery. LANL Foundation offers its experience in partnership as a leader and learner during this process.
We look forward to working with you to create the best path forward for reform, smooth implementation, and effective assessment that will create equitable and improved learning tools and environments to support New Mexico’s teachers and students to succeed both in and out of the classroom.
Jenny Parks, Chief Executive Officer & Gwen Perea Warniment, K–12 Program Director