The New Mexico Public Education Commission (NMPEC) denies the application for Sh’eh Wheef Shu-Neen. On September 26, 2014, the NMPEC held a meeting in Santa Fe to decide whether to approve the application for the proposed charter school.
The Commission found that the application was inadequate. Matt Pahl, Interim Director of the State’s Charter School Division, stated, “[t]he school’s mission shows promise, but the promised documentation does not sufficiently demonstrate evidence of a viable sustainable school.”
According to the NMPEC, some deficiencies included:
- No clear, concise and comprehensive overview of the curriculum strategies and/or content;
- The education plan was incomplete and did not address clear, specific goals for student progress; &
- The business plan was lacking in several areas.
Charlene Lucero, Joseph “Joey” Lucero and Denise Zuni, founders of Sh’eh Wheef Shu-Neen, attended the meeting. They attempted to address the issues raised by the NMPEC.
Denise Zuni explained, that they would take action to correct deficiencies within 10 days, if the Commission approved the application. She stated, ” we have the support of our government and our community.”
One of the Commissioners said, “[c]ertainly, we heard from some people at that community input hearing that had serious questions and, I got the impression were not in favor of the school. Perhaps, I was picking up on the wrong vibes; I don’t know. But they certainly did have questions.”
Charlene Lucero responded, that there’s a lot of confusion within our community, because the Tribe is in the process of taking over the Isleta Elementary School from the Bureau of Indian Education. She said, there is a lot of confusion and people do not want the tribe to take over the elementary school. The tribe and community are confused as to what school we are talking about. And, it’s “just a lack of information on the community’s part.”
Nevertheless, by a vote of 8-1, the NMPEC denied the application for Sh’eh Wheef Shu-Neen Charter School. The NMPEC encouraged the founders to correct the deficiencies in their application and try again next year.
To read a transcript of this meeting, click: Sh’eh Wheef Shu-Neen Application Hearing