GALLUP, N.M. - Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly joined New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez and New Mexico State Public Education Secretary Designate Hanna Skandera in signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that allows sharing of student performance data between the state and the Navajo Nation.
The signing ceremony took place at Indian Hills Elementary School in Gallup. More than 100 students attended the ceremony.
"We have set forth plans that entail our own curriculum that instills the foundation of our culture and language. Our culture is our identity to the world and our language is our fingerprint so our Gods can recognize our prayers," President Shelly said before the trio signed the MOU.
The MOU allows New Mexico to share student performance records so the Navajo Nation can assess Navajo student performance and create curriculum to help Navajo students. It also helps the Navajo Nation gain a stronger stance in creating state education agency for the Navajo Nation.
"Part of our long term plan is to manage our own educational system just like a state does," Shelly said.
Gov. Martinez said sharing information helps government reform.
"Sharing information may not sound big in reform but it is," said Gov. Martinez.
"Sharing student information will help students thrive."
President Shelly thanked Gov. Martinez and Sec. Skandera for signing the MOU.
"You are showing courage, understanding, compassion, but also sharing your vision for the children of this diverse state," said Shelly.