Thursday, May 25, 2006

Richardson Unveils Plan for High School Education

Yesterday, Governor Richardson unveiled his plan to improve high school education in New Mexico, so that more students are adequately prepared for college and careers.
Components of Governor Richardson’s high school redesign proposal include:

Develop New Mexico’s High School Diploma of Excellence
Increase drop out age from 16 to 17
Increase graduation requirements
Create a statewide cyber academy
Increase funding for career technical high schools
Increase funding for Advanced Placement courses and teacher training
Increase funding for Pre-AP to target students in underserved areas and better prepare them for high school
Change funding for senior year to create incentives for districts to make senior year more meaningful
Charge the existing Higher Education/Public Education Alignment Taskforce to create a statewide funding framework for students who are dually enrolled, as well as eliminate the 10th grade competency exam and replace it with a more meaningful assessment of high school proficiency and college readiness.
If you set high expectations, people will strive to meet them. Governor Richardson is not content to fail the youth of New Mexico, so he is challenging them by increasing funding for AP courses and teacher training and increasing graduation requirements. He's changing funding to make senior year more meaningful since too many students check out on the last day of their junior year.

Governor Richardson is preparing for the future by establishing a state-wide cyber academy. Students must be prepared to live and work in the 21st century and Bill Richardson is giving them the tools to do well in the future.

If you scroll down to the bottom of the press release, the details come out, and you'll see that this is a plan that any citizen of any state would be proud to have their Governor introduce. We all want what's best for our kids, but it's a great day when our government invests in our kids.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

May/June Daily Kos Straw Poll Up

Markos has a new poll up for 2008 contenders so get on over to Daily Kos and vote for Governor Richardson for 2008. All of the smart people are doing it.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Richardson Rebuttal to Bush Immigration Plan

Although immigration is not a huge issue here in Washington state (we're not too worried that British Columbians are going to invade our cities the way some of the righties in border states talk), it is clear that the Bush Administration is putting on a dog and pony show and forcing states like Arizona and New Mexico to clean up its mess.

Last night on CNN, Governor Richardson called it like it is:
Well, I'm very skeptical as a border governor that deals with this issue every day of the National Guard deployed at the border. We need more border patrol agents, more sensors, more equipment.

I need the National Guard in New Mexico to help with forest fires, emergency preparedness. The problem is that many of these guardsmen their mission is not border security. I'm concerned that they're tired from Iraq and Afghanistan. What we need is more border patrol agents and we're not getting them from the Congress and the federal government.
It's worth noting that Bush cut the border patrol request significantly in the current budget. Now he's taking tired National Guardsmen who have served tours in Iraq on Bush's Napoleonic crusade, and making them police our border with Mexico. As Richardson correctly points out, this is not the role of the National Guard, he'll need them when the forest fires inevitably break out, and to prepare for those unforeseen emergencies (especially the unforeseen emergencies the Bush Administration is known for - remember Katrina?).

Governor Richardson also went on to outline his common-sense solution to the immigration problem:
Well what you do is create an earned legalization plan based on good behavior. What's the alternative, to deport them? To declare them criminals as the House of Representatives has? What you would do is in the McCain-Kennedy bill, which I believe is the most practical, you set up standards, benchmarks.

If they speak English, if they pay back taxes, if they pay fines for coming in illegally, background checks, if they participate in civic activities. You put them to the back of the line, not ahead of those that are trying to get here legally.

You find a way to keep them here if they do jobs that Americans don't do. I believe that's a good sensible, practical step that the United States Senate is moving forward.
America has always been a nation of immigrants. This country was built on the backs of immigrant labor. With his plan, Bill Richardson allows potential immigrants to still dream the American dream, but holds them responsible for their actions. Opportunity and responsibility is what America is about, not xenophobia and marginalization of an entire ethnicity.

And as is typical with the Bush Administration, Richardson and other border governors were given very little information and not consulted in the formation of the plan.
We, the four border governors were informed two hours before and my big question for instance as a New Mexico governor, is from the 6,000, how many are going to be from New Mexico or come into New Mexico? They couldn't give me an answer on that. There are a lot of specifics that are not dealt with. It seems that this policy is being made on the fly and that's what's discouraging.
While George W. Bush clearly has no clue, Bill Richardson has stepped up and clearly articulated a sound, humane policy on immigration. Looks like someone else is going to clean up George's mess again. Georgie, you're doing a heckuva job.

And finally, Governor Richardson ironically notes:
You put up a wall on the border, America the country that tears down the Berlin Wall, that stands for freedom.
Ahh freedom..Nothing like having your phone wiretapped without a warrant, or being held incommunicado in a prison in Guantanamo Bay, or having your patriotism challenged when you oppose Administration policies, or no-bid contracts to cronies, or prostitutes for Congressmen in the Watergate Hotel, or bribes, or incestuous relationships with lobbyists.

This is why America needs a man of integrity like Bill Richardson as its President.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Richardson Leads the Way on Ethics Reform

While the U.S. House of Representatives just passed its weak lobbying reform bill that contained no real reform, Governor Richardson is leading the way in New Mexico. Richardson, who had his own significant ethics and campaign finance reform package largely ignored by the New Mexico State Legislature, issued an executive order last week that calls for a task force on ethics reform to study the issues of governmental ethics and campaign finance reform, and develop policy recommendations for the 2007 legislative session.

Richardson easily could have taken his ball and gone home like a petulant child after the legislature ignored his ethics reform package, but instead he's keeping the issue on the front-burner. If legislators vote down Richardson's reforms or take no action, he wins because through his legislation he shows that the People are the only special interest.

Who do you want for President, someone who is bought and paid for by Big Business or someone whose only interest is your best interest? The answer is simple: Richardson in 2008.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Don't Believe Everything You Read in the Papers

Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Roy Romer (former governor of Colorado and head of the DNC) announced his intention to retire a while back, thus setting off speculation as to who will replace him.

According to today's Los Angeles Daily News:

Board member David Tokofsky said the district has been contacted by New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, as well as superintendents from around the country, inquiring about the job.

I don't buy it. As someone who worked as an aide to the Vice-President of LAUSD's school board from 1999-2001, and worked with David Tokofsky, I can tell you he's a grandstanding windbag who likes to hear the sound of his own voice. He also likes to drop names of important people to make himself look more important. Don't get me wrong, David is a very intelligent man, but he speaks before he thinks far too often.

Who knows if David Tokofsky's opinion will matter when Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa gets done taking over the school district? But I'd bet large sums of money that Governor Richardson will not be the next Superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District.