Isleta Pueblo Politics

By Christopher L. Abeita

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Eddie Paul Torres on Education

Incumbent Candidate Eddie Paul Torres on Education

ttEddie Paul states:

“One of my top priorities has been our children and their education. We have a multi-million dollar elementary school operated by the BIA that has seen its enrollment dwindle to the point that it is no longer capable of providing our children with the best education that we expect of them. We have, however, engaged on a path that will see our Tribe take over that school.”

Eddie Paul is correct. Our Tribe is engaged on a path of taking over the school. Unfortunately, he does not explain HOW taking over the school will allow our children to receive a better education.

At the community meeting, Eddie Paul had a consultant explain the bureaucratic process that the Tribe must follow to take over the school. Sadly, he is focused on the wrong thing. He is focused on a onetime event – to take over the school. As a result, our Tribe is also focused on the wrong thing.

We should be focused on:

HOW will the school provide a superior education to our children?
What will be the school’s curriculum?
What will the curriculum emphasize?
How will the school continuously improve its curriculum?
How will the school deliver that curriculum effectively to our children?

In today’s world, our children need the skills to compete nationally and internationally. So, what will the school do to enable our children to compete at that level?

Eddie Paul states:

“We plan to be able to offer our local children with an education on equal too if not better than any in our surrounding communities. We plan on updating our Information Technology (IT) Program at the school so that our children can have access to state of the art approaches to learning. We also plan to place our TIWA language into our classroom curriculum so that our children are more in contact with their culture and heritage. Our goal is to allow our children to get that education in their own community instead of having to be bussed back and forth off the reservation to school each day. That vision is in the last phases of being accomplished.”

At the community meeting, a tribal member asked whether the Tribe had a “strategic plan” for taking over the school. The question was avoided.

Why?
Why don’t we have a clear plan for educating our children?
If Eddie Paul has any type of plan, where is it?
Shouldn’t he make it available to parents?
Shouldn’t he make it available to the Tribe?

If Eddie Paul can’t deliver something better, then is willing to settle for providing an education “equal too” surrounding communities. So, if you’re happy with where the Tribe is stuck, then Eddie Paul is your man.

Our Tribe should be planning to provide our children with an education SUPERIOR to surrounding communities. We have the resources to hire the best minds to help us better educate our children to enable them to compete with anyone in the world.

Instead, we are focusing on developing a bunch of policies and procedures to satisfy the bureaucrats of the federal government.

We need to shift our attention to recruiting the best people available that have proven track records on providing a superior education to children.

Our Tribe shouldn’t settle for anything less. Parents shouldn’t settle for anything less.

Eddie Paul states:

“. . . we need to be ever watchful and alert to see that this education priority does not get stifled.”

Eddie Paul Torres is stifling the education of our children because of his failure to establish clear priorities for our Tribe. He is stifling the education of our children because of his lack of leadership. His priority is getting the personal prestige to serve as the Chairman of the All Pueblo Council of Governors. As a result, he failed the children of this Tribe.

Eddie Paul Torres was the Lieutenant Governor from 2011-2012 and he’s been Governor from 2013-2014. Under his leadership, our school crumbled.

Definitely, we need to give close attention to Eddie Paul and the Council. We need to know what they are doing with regard to the school. Simply taking over the school does not guarantee that our children will get a better education.

The children of this Tribe have the capabilities to compete with anyone in the world. We shouldn’t be afraid to believe in our children. But, we as parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends will squander their potential away, if we allow the bureaucratic mindset of people like Eddie Paul to retain control of this Tribe.

2 Comments

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  1. Our children are the future. Our children will be the next President, Governor and Council. Their education is essential for their future. I find it sad that Eddie Paul did not really prioritize our school. So, why not make Isleta be outstanding academically? Sad!

  2. SMH! Agreed that we need to have our children compete with the outside world but Governor Torres, with all due respect, you do not have any steps or procedures of how you intend to implement this goal. Our children lack the basic fundamental skills of reading and math which they do not have at this point. The children of this community are two (2) grade levels behind in the basic skills of reading and math when they begin their educational lessons in the public school systems. We recently passed the AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress) at Isleta Elementary School. These children need help desperately. Instead of a Charter School or the conversion of the Elementary School, our elected leaders should be investigating strategies, methods and/or goals in achieving the basic skills. These children are the future of this Tribe! What is wrong with you?!

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