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Judge forces issue on N.M. teacher evals

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Courts > Possible injunction to be decided later this month

By Tris DeRoma

SANTA FE — On Thursday, Santa Fe First Judicial District Court Judge David Thomson put the fight between unions and the New Mexico Public Education Department’s over the teacher evaluation process on a very fast track.
In February, the American Federation of Teachers New Mexico, the Albuquerque Federation of Teachers and several individuals filed a lawsuit against the New Mexico Public Education Department and the New Mexico Secretary of Education Hanna Skandera.
The plaintiffs called the new teacher evaluation process “flawed” and a violation of a teacher’s constitutional rights.
A request for a preliminary injunction was filed three months later by the plaintiffs in an effort to halt the evaluation process, saying that it was already doing “irreparable harm” to thousands of teachers across New Mexico.
Thursday, Thomson heard from both sides on why he should, or should not, file a preliminary injunction.
During the hearing, the attorneys for the plaintiffs told Thomson that they had already received “thousands” of emails from across the state from teachers on how they’re being impacted by last school year’s evaluations. Some said their evaluation scores have either stopped their careers from advancing and some said they are one step away from being fired as a result.


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