History Test Omissions Under Fire
Lawmakers are saying that the state's standardized test for US history is missing some key questions. Among the topics omitted from this year's exam are Rosa Parks' act of civil disobedience, Roe v. Wade, Malcolm X and the bombings that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Members of the Legislative Education Study Committee met last week to discuss the proposed changes, and some implied that they were purposefully being made by the Public Education Department to obscure events in history. In response, PED's deputy secretary for teaching and learning, Matt Montaño, told the committee that the topics had been removed by the history teachers, themselves. He claimed that the omissions were made to shorten the test. The deletion of the key topics came to light when an “end-of-course assessment blueprint” was published on PED's website last week. Educators noted that topics were missing, such as McCarthyism and the House UnAmerican Activities Committee, the impeachment process, the end of slavery and others. Montaño said he would consider the comments, and that PED has the ability to restore the missing topics, but failed to make any commitments. Earlier this month, PED decided against altering Next Generation Science Standards after public outcry erupted. The proposed changes would have removed any references to the age of the earth, global warming and evolution.
Lujan Grisham Tells Padilla to Leave Race
Last week, New Mexico Democratic gubernatorial candidate Michelle Lujan Grisham said Democratic Sen. Michael Padilla should quit the race for lieutenant governor over harassment claims. In a statement to The Associated Press, Lujan Grisham said that charges of harassment against Padilla made a decade ago have been revisited recently on social media. The allegations date back to 2006, when Padilla overhauled a 911 call center for the city. It was his job to review personnel and procedures at the center. Two federal lawsuits later alleged that while managing the call center, Padilla made inappropriate comments to female subordinates. Padilla has continued to deny that the cases involved sexual harassment claims and says the lawsuits were related to a hostile work environment. He said the complaints were lodged against him by people who were worried they were going to lose their jobs and were untrue. The city ultimately settled the claims, and Padilla resigned from his position in 2007. Padilla has called Lujan Grisham an “excellent candidate for governor” and says he wants to meet and speak with her.
Judge Calls City's Actions Against Monitor “Unacceptable”
A federal judge admonished Albuquerque's police officials and city attorney for secretly recording the Department of Justice monitor, an action which violates the department's own policies. According to reports, Albuquerque City Attorney Jessica Hernandez released secretly recorded lapel video last month of an argument between herself and federal monitor James Ginger during a meeting in March 2016. The city filed a motion to review whether Ginger was biased against the city, but the judge ruled in favor of the monitor, deeming the city's actions “unacceptable.” He pointed out that lapel cams are restricted to official law enforcement duties only. He said the city's attempt to remove Ginger was antithetical to the reform process. The judge has ordered Hernandez to hand over any other potential recordings of Ginger.