Not done yet
Public Education Secretary Designate Chris Ruszkowski is fond of saying that what gets measured, gets taught. Rosa Parks. Malcolm X. Dropping atomic bombs on Japan. Roe v. Wade. All those history subjects are gone from the state's end-of-course assessment guidelines for high school US history courses this year. They aren't getting measured. The PED has also rewritten blueprints for final exams in world and New Mexico history and health classes.
Implementing science standards
At a legislative hearing yesterday, science curriculum experts and seasoned administrators told lawmakers that implementing the Next Generation Science Standards should not be a hasty process. It'll be expensive, too, as kids and teachers adjust to new ways to learn and teach. The PED's decision to scrap proposed alterations and adopt the NGSS in full was praised by educators and some lawmakers, though the department has yet to publish its new proposed standards to make the decision official.
LANL workers contaminated … again
A crew at Los Alamos National Lab's plutonium facility was involved in a leak of radioactive particles for the second time in four weeks. A report by the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board highlighted the accident, which occurred in September. A crew replacing a water line under a protective box for handling radioactive material removed a plug on the box, exposing them. Despite one worker's skin being contaminated, the lab says the dose wasn't measurable and that neither the workers nor the public were placed in danger by the mistake.
Train in vain
The same federal monitoring board says that LANL's emergency drills are weak and have had problems dating back to 2014. The critical report says the labs' drills were often in disarray, as it was unclear who was in charge of response to an emergency and not enough people clearly understood their role in responding to emergencies like radioactive leaks, spills, earthquakes and active shooter situations. The Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board and the lab's management company, which is at the end of its contract, says the lab has made changes.
Perhaps surprisingly, a Santa Fe public park has a six-foot tall monument of the Ten Commandments out front and no one seems to have complained. The granite representation of the biblical stone tablets is in Ashbaugh Park off Cerrillos Road. It's not particularly well cared for and—interpret this how you will—no one seems to know where it came from. A recent case involving a Ten Commandments monument outside the Bloomfield, New Mexico, city hall was appealed all the way to the Supreme Court, which let stand a lower court ruling that the monument has to go.
Kirtland commander disciplined for same-sex marriage beliefs
Col. Leland Bohannon was in charge of the Air Force Inspection Agency last May. But when he refused to sign a certificate of appreciation for a retiring colleague's same-sex spouse, he was relieved of command and disciplined. Bohannon cited his religious beliefs in not signing the certificate. A religious liberty group is asking the Air Force to overturn the decision, saying Bohannon's attempt to navigate the Air Force command structure for guidance was fruitless.
In one of his more widely praised moves, President Trump declared the opioid crisis in America to be a national emergency. But Democrats in New Mexico's congressional delegation say they need money to go along with that pronouncement. The state's attorney general is among those who has sued drug manufacturers, saying they understated the risks of addiction when they marketed many opioid drugs.
Thanks for reading! The Word looks forward to the savory-or-sweet breakfast decisions that await this weekend. We always go in thinking sweet, but somehow come up savory.
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