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Albuquerque to collect items for homeless students

ALBUQUERQUE (AP) - Albuquerque officials are setting out to help students living in the city without a home.

Various city and county officials will announce a first-ever drive geared toward homeless students Thursday morning at a news conference at Albuquerque Ambulance.

Albuquerque Fire Department spokeswoman Melissa Romero says city and county public safety agencies are asking for donations for students through a "Sirens for Homeless Students" drive.

Romero says residents can drop off items such as packaged socks and underwear, toiletries and non-perishable food items through April 26.

Items will be accepted at any fire or police station and participating businesses.

Romero says there are nearly 6,000 homeless students in Albuquerque.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

State lawmaker facing campaign over ed proposal

ALBUQUERQUE (AP) - An advocacy group has launched a campaign against New Mexico lawmakers they say blocked efforts to pass a new early childhood education proposal.
    
The Center for Civic Policy on Thursday began running newspaper ads against Sen. Carlos Cisneros for his role in opposing the proposed constitutional amendment. The proposal called for using 1.5 percent of the state's $13 billion Land Grant Permanent Fund for early childhood education programs.
    
The amendment died after Cisneros got lawmakers to table it in committee.
    
According to the group, advocates also plan on bombarding the Questa Democrat with telephone calls and emails.
    
Cisneros said he opposed the measure because he disagreed with the group's previous attacks on other lawmakers and also believed the permanent fund shouldn't be tapped.

NM students to learn about sexual abuse prevention

Starting next year, students across New Mexico will learn how to identify signs of sexual abuse and it will start with kids as young as 5.

Gov. Susana Martinez signed "Erin's Law" on Wednesday. She said it's time to teach our kids how to protect themselves and other victims of sexual abuse.

"You have little ones, different ages… you got to teach them age appropriate stuff," Martinez said.  

NM far below national average in AP test results

ALBUQUERQUE (AP) - New Mexico high school students ranked below the national average on Advanced Placement tests last year.

But the scores have improved over the past decade, and New Mexico had the highest percentage of Hispanic and low income students who passed the tests.

The 10th annual report from the College Board shows 43 percent of Hispanic students in New Mexico who took an AP test scored three points or more - the highest percent nationally.  At 53 percent, New Mexico also has the highest number of Hispanic high school students, and 46 percent of them took an AP test.

Nearly 40 percent of low income students in New Mexico who took an AP test passed.

Overall, 12 percent of New Mexico students passed, compared to a national average of 20 percent.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

NM gets federal funds to boost school achievement

ALBUQUERQUE (AP) - New Mexico has been selected to receive a $3.7 million federal grant to help school districts turn around persistently low achieving schools.

The funding comes from the U.S. Department of Education's School Improvement Grant Program. It was announced Monday by U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Lujan.

The New Mexico Democrat says recent studies about the well-being of children show New Mexico ranks at the bottom in several categories, and turning around schools is an important step toward providing kids with a brighter future.

Through the program, state educational agencies award separate grants to school districts that demonstrate the greatest need and the strongest commitment to providing adequate resources to substantially raise student achievement.

Lujan says New Mexico is one of seven states chosen to receive the school improvement funding.

Court asked to mull teacher evaluation plan

The fight over New Mexico's new rules for teacher evaluations has teachers, parents and students weighing in. Last week, KOB Eyewitness reported on how students planned to protest tests by answering "D" to every question.

Now, the spotlight is back on the state's teachers union and their petition to have a judge delay the new requirements. A district court judge dismissed that petition last month. Now, the union wants the state's Court of Appeals to reconsider.

The judge ruled the state has the right to set new requirements, but the teachers union claims that's not what they were asking the court to rule on. They say it's about whether the new requirements conflict with existing law.

Under the new plan, half of a teacher's evaluation is based on "growth in student achievement," a quarter comes from observation of their teaching, and a quarter varies from district to district.

UNM coach: Defensive coordinator not coming back

UNM coach: Defensive coordinator not coming back

The University of New Mexico football coach Bob Davie says defensive coordinator Jeff Mills will not be back next season.

Davie said in a statement Saturday that Mills was no longer working for the University. It was unclear if Mills resigned or was fired.

New Mexico (3-8, 1-6) lost its 15th straight game against a ranked opponent in its final last game last month. The Lobos struggled all season on defense, but were the nation's No. 2 rushing team.

The Lobos finished the 2013 season with a 3-9 record.