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Today in NM Education

Posted by on September 11, 2013

PUBLIC EDUCATION ADVOCATES FILE SUIT IN DISTRICT COURT AGAINST SECRETARY-DESIGNATE HANNA SKANDERA OVER THE NEW TEACHER EVALUATION RULE

New Mexico Education Advocates v. Skandera

Educators allege that Secretary-Designate violated her statutory authority by promulgating the PED’s teacher evaluation rule.

State House Representative Sheryl Williams-Stapleton, State Senator Linda Lopez, State Senator Howie Morales and a contingent of educators have filed a Petition for a Writ of Mandamus against Hanna Skandera, Secretary-Designate of the state’s Public Education Department (PED) seeking to invalidate the PED’s teacher evaluation policies that she enacted without legislative approval.

New Mexico teachers returned to school this year subject to a new evaluation system linking teacher performance to student test scores. According to the lawsuit, the Secretary-Designate surpassed her authority in promulgating the rule because the language of the rule conflicts with the plain language of New Mexico’s School Personnel Act. According to the Act, there must be a “highly objective uniform statewide standard for evaluation” of teachers.

While public school districts are required to use the new evaluation system, charter schools may apply for a waiver, creating distinctly different systems for evaluating teachers.

“Educators support teacher accountability and evaluations. As professionals, we want to learn and grow and provide all of our students with the best opportunities. But this rule isn’t aimed at promoting useful professional feedback for teachers. Its aim seems to be to drive teachers away from public education by creating a false accountability systems focused on shame and blame,” says AFT NM President Stephanie Ly.

In 2013, educators and lawmakers worked to pass a meaningful evaluation system through the legislator but it was vetoed by the governor. “Governor Martinez and Secretary-Designate Martinez have ignored the voices of students, parents and educators. Meanwhile educators are demoralized and leaving the profession and it is our students that are losing out.” says President Ly.

Related:

New Mexico Educators share concerns over Skandera with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan – AFT

NM’s Education Secretary Caught in Dirty Dealings with the Bush Bros. – Washington Post

Virtual Schools Run by Corporations? Hanna Skandera’s Vision – La Jicarita

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