Teachers Want Reform

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Schools: Educators gather in Santa Fe to protest

Teachers, parents and administrators say they’d welcome a reform of New Mexico’s teacher evaluation system.


But they say the current rule has been rushed and doesn’t account for challenges outside the classroom.

The state chapter of the American Federation of Teachers led a protest Wednesday before education officials met in a public hearing. The Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce is among supporters of the new rule.

Efforts to replace the current evaluation system with one based on student test score gains failed in the Legislature.
Education Secretary Hanna Skandera then moved to overhaul the system through administrative rule.

About 30 schools would be part of a pilot program this fall. Skandera plans to implement it statewide the following year.

The implementation of New Mexico’s school grading system replaced the previous Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) measurement that was part of the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act. This new system uses the most recent three-years of data whenever possible to measure student achievement and progress.

The New Mexico Public Education Department released its grades earlier this month and Los Alamos schools came away with four A’s and three B’s.

Los Alamos was represented at the protest by Los Alamos Federation of School Employees president, Ellen Mills, LAFSE vice-president and State AFT vice-president, Ryan Ross, LAFSE treasurer Virginia Kachelmeier, Colleen Goddard, Addie Jacobson, and Karyl Ann Armbruster.

In an op-ed in Wednesday’s Los Alamos Monitor, Mills stated the reasons why the union was against the plan, citing the tests were unreliable and describing the relationships between teachers and students.