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What Do Parents Think Of Albuquerque Public Schools?

Students were locked out of classrooms for over a year. Are parents happy with the consequences?

Beginning today, the Southwest Public Policy Institute’s Center for Education Reform is conducting comprehensive surveys of the parents of students at Albuquerque Public Schools.

The preliminary results are troubling.

Parents were asked a variety of questions related to everything from the efficiency of the administration to whether their children had adequate access to extracurricular activities. One of the most important questions was to determine whether parents think that academic instruction is the primary focus of their children’s time in the classroom.

The results of the surveys have not yet been finalized, but additional feedback from parents provided a grim prognostication of public schooling in Albuquerque.

One parent says: “I feel that most of the information and study materials my daughter had received last year in first grade were not quite up to par. I feel that this is setting her up for failure.”

Another parent makes specific reference to the online-only education throughout the pandemic: “Online classes made it very difficult for students to get help. Teachers relied on videos and left students to self teach themselves. My kids now go to ASK academy and love it.”

It is clear that decision-making at Albuquerque Public Schools and from the New Mexico Public Education Department is having negative effects in the homes of families.

Parents were asked if they would enroll their children in charter schools. So far, every single respondent has strongly strongly agreed with that statement: they would seek out better educational opportunities for their children if they could.

With Albuquerque Public Schools spending over $27,000 per student annually, funding is not the issue. Albuquerque Academy charges approximately $25,390 in yearly tuition with far greater results.

The neighboring state of Arizona has recently deployed comprehensive school choice reform. Texas is considering the adoption of similar education reform.

Albuquerque parents continue to voice their concerns that the quality of education their children receive is severely insufficient. Rather than pouring millions of dollars into failed institutions, will New Mexico change course and free children from the clutches of antiquated “public education”?

Harvard University released a report in May detailing the consequences of remote instruction. Huge educational achievement losses occurred, especially in states where remote instruction was common. “If the achievement losses become permanent, there will be major implications for future earnings, racial equity, and income inequality.”

Correcting the gaps caused by remote instruction will be a huge hurdle. “Leaders could provide high-dosage tutoring to every student and [sic] still not make up for the loss.”

The New Mexico Education Survey continues to accumulate responses and the Southwest Public Policy Institute will release the final analyzed results in the coming days.

By Patrick M. Brenner

Patrick Brenner is the founder and president of the Southwest Public Policy Institute, a limited-government research institute and think tank focused on the southwestern United States. An advocate for open government, he leads the institute's government transparency and accountability efforts.

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