New governor looks to enhance cultural relevance in school curriculum


New Mexico is a melting pot, and new Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and her administration are looking for ways to reflect that diversity in classrooms. 

“When we talk about students in the schools, they have to see themselves in the curriculum, we have to make sure we’re culturally relevant and celebrating our diversity,” said Lieutenant Governor Howie Morales. 

Last year, a Santa Fe District Court judge ruled New Mexico’s education system is failing to provide proper education to their students, especially low income and minority students. 

“We have such a problem meeting the needs of our minority students, and our bilingual education requirements,” said Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. 

Now, Gov. Lujan Grisham says she and her administration are working with a group of educators to find a way to change the status quo for these kids. 

Just a few days into office, and she’s already made it clear education is a top priority. 

“We will have to really look carefully at what kind of independent tools will help us meet those needs,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham. 

Ellen Bernstein, President of the Albuquerque Teachers Federation, says making every single student feel like they’re at the center of the lesson is vital in a state as diverse as New Mexico. 

“I think it’s really important for all of us to see ourselves in what we are exposed to in our public education,” said Bernstein. 

First, she says teachers need the resources to do so. 

“There are so many rich tools where we can diversify the people we see and read about and understand,” said Bernstein. 

Bernstein says she’s eager to see how the new governor will uphold her commitments.

Gov. Lujan Grisham has not yet named a secretary for the Public Education Department.

Right now, Lieutenant Governor Howie Morales is serving as interim secretary.  

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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