Alamogordo’s Charter School Application Failing Score in a Peer Review


The proposal for a charter school for Alamogordo is moving forward in the process with a public hearing scheduled for July 11th. A “peer review” of the proposal and application has been completed.

Based upon the peer review only 38% of the criteria necessary for an effective charter school received a passing grade of Meeting New Mexico PED standards. 

The New Mexico Public Education Commission is holding a Community Input Hearing at the Alamogordo Civic Center on July 11, 2024, from 9:00 am to 11:00 am. This is the only public meeting scheduled regarding the issue of a charter school in Alamogordo. 

A small partisan group of individuals set the course of petitioning Main Gate United and the Alamogordo Chamber of Commerce into championing a charter school and began the process with no public at large comment during the initial planning phase and the board that absolutely does NOT represent the makeup of the Alamogordo Community.

A Charter school is bad for a community the size of Alamogordo as it will drain close to $1 Million from the budget f Alamogordo High School in year one growing to a drain of $2.6 Million specifically from Alamogordo High School in year 5 of its Operations.

Opposition to charter schools in small rural communities has been led by LULAC Council 8105, the NEA, the National NAACP and other organizations based upon the long term economic impact on the core school system and the segregated both racial, economic and challenges that are created by small town charter programs. The public is not united in favor of a charter in Alamogordo. 

Opponents do not disagree that improving education is a priority as is STEM focused programs. Opponents content that the proposal before the NM PED to open the new charter for Alamogordo is not novel, new nor innovative as the same curriculum outlined in the application is already utilized by Alamogordo Public Schools.

The proposed curriculum includes the same sources as APS presently uses in its ever expanding offering.

Proponents of the charter school point to other successes and yet don’t point to small towns with systems the size of Alamogordo for success for do they respond to the drain of financial resources to the main school system. 

 The Lessons of Riverhead Central School District are a warning to Alamogordo.  Would an Alamogordo Charter School Result in AHS Layoffs?

Opponents suggest that an enhanced STEM curriculum driven program should be a priority for APS and it should be a go as an opportunity for ALL students not just a select few with limited enrollment as the Charter School proposes. Opponents suggest that APS within its already existing framework create a magnet school or a STEM focused curriculum within Alamogordo High School.

What happens to those students left behind that were not selected for the limited seated Charter School program?  What is the parent involvement in governance of kids that are selected?

The charter will prioritize entry for families that have already attended based upon their own admission, so on year 2 if a brother or sister attended year one, the younger siblings are prioritized over a potentially  more talented student based on a family connection, not based upon talent or ability. If more applicants apply then seats the selection goes to a lottery system that is created and scored by the founders.

One knows in Alamogordo how that has played out based on past experiences

When a small elite group wants to make decisions for the majority in their best interest, the truth is it is in the best interest of that controlling group, and certainly not the majority of the public. 

This group of founders includes a former APS school superintendent that when he was superintendent, Jarrett Perry, was VEHEMENTLY OPPOSED to any charter school coming into Alamogordo and draining financial resources from APS “during his watch.” One was proposed during his watch and the application was withdrawn due to a lack of community support at that time.

What the founders of the Charter don’t tell you is they want their cake and eat it to. They want to control the curriculum, the school experience and the education of the charter students WITHOUT a public elected nor publicly accountable school board. They want to make policies, drive curriculum choices, hire and fire teachers with your taxpayer dollars and only the limited resources of the state of New Mexico PED department which is stretched and underfunded for oversight.

This same group of individuals that wants to use your taxpayer dollars to fund the charter school is led by Lori Black who’s is the same individual with a lawsuit against APS that is costing it thousands of dollars in litigation expenses of which could potentially enrich her if successful.

The local LULAC Council 8105 opposes the Charter School. They attended two open information meetings and when they asked the founders about why there was no representation of Native Americans, Hispanics, African Americans, LBGTQ representation nor representation from the challenged and disabled community as a part of the founding board? The response was an “afterthought” but became a defensive priority in the application process of creating an “equity council.” The PED application analysis confirmed concerns with what was presented and has classified the information provided in relation to representation of the community at large as insufficient and lacking…

Thus the feelings expressed by the opposition groups to this charter school were all but confirmed by the NM PED’s analysis of the application itself. 

But even more important and concerning was the analysis of fiscal control and oversight and policy decision oversight and controls. A significant area of concern based upon the application filed…

Based upon the Analysis the actual organizational steps to be ready for opening on time don’t meet the state criteria nor expectations and yet this group of select individuals wants you to entrust them with millions of your taxpayer dollars? Is that the best use reasonable and responsible use of your taxpayer dollars? 

The overall application was peer reviewed green is a go, yellow is cautionary and needs significantly more work for a passing grade and areas marked red are failures in the application process. Based upon the peer feedback and review a majority of the grades issued by the peer group on the application process for the Sacramento School of Science and Engineering was caution to a failing grade.  

The peer reviewed application scores the Charter School plan with 23 passing areas. 
21 Areas of approach the correct answer and a cautionary finding which could either slip to a failure or lean up to passing, and 11 failures in the application of not meeting state standards

Thus in 55 areas to be evaluated the application only passed 38% of the necessary requirements for a successful charter school based upon the peer review and assessment. 

Is an application marked mostly in yellow and red honestly the best outcome for Alamogordo students? Can Alamogordo not do better than this?

Come to the public meeting on July 11th to oppose this poor scoring peer reviewed application for a Charter School in Alamogordo. 

The charter school record on raising test scores and positive student outcomes is mixed at best, with many charter schools doing no better or even worse than public schools. For those charters that are successful, the high scores come at a cost, starting with exclusion of students and families that might not help achieve the goal as reported by Forbes Magazine. 

The New Mexico Public Education Commission is holding a Community Input Hearing at the Alamogordo Civic Center on July 11, 2024, from 9:00 am to 11:00 am. This is the only public meeting scheduled regarding the issue of a charter school in Alamogordo.

A copy of the peer review can be found at…

To learn more on why opponents to the charter school “as proposed” believe this is not the best approach to education in Alamogordo visit:

Alamogordo Institutions Being Used for Partisan Political Gamesmanship to Dismantle Public Schools…

Alma d’Arte’s Charter School Las Cruces Sparks Concerns: Implications for New Mexico's Charter System…

Alamogordo School Board Member Craig Danekas Resigns from Charter School Board

Creating a Charter School Where is the transparency?…

The Lessons of Riverhead Central School District. Would an Alamogordo Charter School Result in AHS Layoffs?…

Understanding the Steps to Open a Charter School…

Notice of Intend to Open a Charter School Filed…

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