The featured speaker was Charles Sallee, Deputy Director of the New Mexico Legislative Finance Committee. Mr. Sallee spoke of the complicated, duplicative, expensive and ineffective approach to early childhood education in our state and some of the associated social issues.
While there is much to regret about the state of educational achievement in New Mexico there was some good news. Focusing effort on effective evidence based programs, targeting resources on a limited number of poor performing communities, and insisting on coordination of effort between public programs and private providers may result in greatly improved performance at little or no increased cost. The goal is obtaining results.
It was clear from forum participant comments that improved early childhood education and child care is needed in Los Alamos County. Coordination between Los Alamos County, Los Alamos Public Schools, private providers, local non-profits, University of New Mexico Los Alamos, and Los Alamos National Laboratory (operated by Triad as of November) should be the place to start.