U.S. Chamber, Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce, and Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce Host Education Reform Forum Featuring Governor Susana Martinez

January 17, 2013

Breaking the Monopoly of Mediocrity Tour Stops in Albuquerque to Rally Thought Leaders in Education, Government, and Business, and Address Local Education Issues

ALBUQUERQUE, NM Breaking the Monopoly of Mediocrity, a cross-country tour focused on education reform in local communities, stopped in Albuquerque today. The forum hosted by the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for a Competitive Workforce (ICW), the National Chamber Foundation (NCF), the Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce, and the Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce included Governor Susana Martinez as well as education, government and business leaders who gathered to address the challenges associated with educating children in rural communities and Native American reservations. The conversation tackled many critical issues which included how leaders could work together to increase low achievement levels and improve college and career readiness throughout the state.

“A recent study by the Annie E. Casey Foundation revealed that 88 percent of kids who drop out of high school were not proficient readers in the 3rd grade,” said Governor Susana Martinez.  “This year, I’ll be requesting funding strategically targeted to intervene when our youngest students are struggling. We need to prepare our children to enter our workforce.”

While New Mexico is one of the largest geographical states in the country, it’s also home to one of the smallest populations and for the first time in the state’s history, the younger generation will be less educated than the older generation.

“Today, too few students are completing their K–12 education, and increasingly, students are graduating high school without attaining the skills needed to succeed at a postsecondary institution or the workforce,” said Cheryl Oldham, vice president of ICW. “Local school districts play a critical role in ensuring that students are adequately prepared to enter the workforce, and the business community must do everything in its power to ensure that these systems are supported.”

The tour will also stop in Birmingham, Ala., Indianapolis, Ind., Jefferson City, Mo., San Diego, Calif., Tacoma, Wash., and Trenton, N.J. with more locations to be announced.

Breaking the Monopoly of Mediocrity is supported by a grant from the Daniels Fund, a Colorado-based foundation established by Bill Daniels, a cable television pioneer known for his generous support of innovative causes.

To learn more, visit: www.breakthemonopoly.com

Follow the conversation on Twitter by using the hashtag: #breakthemonopoly

The Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce’s mission is to make our community a place where businesses can grow and prosper and where people want to raise their families. The Chamber acts as the voice of business to ensure New Mexicans live in safe neighborhoods, work in rewarding careers at thriving businesses, their children attend great schools, and enjoy a high quality of life. More information about the Chamber is accessible online at www.abqchamber.com.

The Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce (AHCC) is an Albuquerque, New Mexico based organization that promotes economic development, to enhance economic opportunities and to provide business and workforce education with an emphasis on the Hispanic and small business community. Since 1975, The AHCC consistently celebrates supports and promotes all business. For more information on the AHCC, please call505.842.9003 or visit www.ahcnm.org

The Daniels Fund provides college scholarships to deserving students, and grants to outstanding nonprofit organizations. Visit www.DanielsFund.org  for more information.

The Institute for a Competitive Workforce is a non-profit, non-partisan, 501(c)(3) affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, promoting the rigorous educational standards and effective job training systems needed to preserve the strength of America's greatest economic resource, its workforce.

The National Chamber Foundation (NCF), a non-profit affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, is dedicated to identifying and fostering public debate on emerging critical issues. We provide business and government leaders with insight and resources to address tomorrow's challenges.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.

www.uschamber.com            @USChamber            www.freeenterprise.com