(Albuquerque) In 2010, in the midst of a heated election campaign, the Rio Grande Foundation brought the “Florida Model” for education reform to New Mexico. Gov. Martinez adopted many of the ideas contained in the plan and has set about reforming New Mexico’s K-12 system to be more innovative and more responsive to student needs.

One component of the “Florida Model” is virtual schooling. The term describes an institution that teaches courses entirely or primarily through online methods. It is a tool that, if used correctly, will be a “game-changer” for New Mexico’s schools in terms of flexibility, incentives, and ultimately, educational output.

Nationally-recognized education expert Lance Izumi, JD, along with Vicki Murray, PhD, have produced a new paper, “Enchanted Future: The Promise of Virtual Education in New Mexico,” (available online here) that outlines a path forward for virtual education in New Mexico while acknowledging some of the positive steps that have already been taken by state leaders to spur this educational revolution.Izumi’s work is being shared with legislators and other leaders throughout New Mexico.

Izumi will be presenting his findings at a Rio Grande Foundation luncheon at Hotel Albuquerque on Friday, July 29 from noon to 1pm. The luncheon is being held on the 29th in celebration of what would have been Dr. Milton Friedman’s 99th birthday.

Virtual schools have proven popular with parents and students alike wherever they have been tried. Elected officials of both major parties have also embraced the use of computing technology to bring increased educational options and accountability to K-12 education.

Public Education Department Secretary Hanna Skandera has confirmed attendance and will be introducing Izumi. The Foundation will also be presenting a cash prize to Albuquerque-area student Noah Rodney for his essay on why school choice is important.

To schedule an interview with Lance Izumi on the topic of virtual schools, call Paul Gessing at: 505-264-6090 or email him at: pgessing [at]riograndefoundation [dot] org” data-scaytid=”1″>pgessing@riograndefoundation.org.

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