New Mexico’s PreKindergarten program met nine of 10 possible quality standards in “The State of Preschool 2008” report issued by the National Institute For Early Education Research (NIEER) today. New Mexico and eight other states met nine or more of the standards.
“This report shows that New Mexico has invested responsibly in early childhood education, and that our children are attending high quality programs as judged by national experts,” Secretary of Education Veronica C. García said. “Research shows that strong PreK programs can improve graduation rates, classroom productivity, and student academic performance, among other benefits. The bottom line is that New Mexico PreK programs are helping to lay a strong foundation for our state’s economic future.”
New Mexico’s PreK program serves 4-year-olds across the state. There are currently 152 programs serving 4,745 students managed by the Public Education Department and the Children, Youth and Families Department.
Secretary Dorian Dodson of the Children, Youth and Families Department said she is satisfied with the report’s findings. “PreK is a fairly young program in New Mexico and we will utilize this information to improve our practices and improve our national ranking,” Dodson said. “The youngest New Mexico citizens who are candidates for PreK deserve the very best program available and it is our goal to provide it.”
The quality standards covered in the report include comprehensive early learning standards, teacher training and education, class size and support services, among other benchmarks.
New Mexico and other states were also ranked on access and resources devoted to the program.
A summary of the report follows:
• Quality Standards Checklist: New Mexico’s program met nine of 10 possible benchmarks.
• Access for 4-year-olds rank: 25th in the nation.
• Access for 3-year-olds rank: None served.
• Resource rank based on state spending: 28th in the nation.
• Resource rank based on all reported spending: 33rd in the nation.
For more information and to view the report, go to http://nieer.org/yearbook