Los Alamos Federation of School Employees President, Ellen Mills, center, LAFSE Vice President and State AFT Vice President Ryan Ross and LAFSE Treasurer Virginia Kachelmeier joined Colleen Goddard, Addie Jacobson and Karyl Ann Armbruster of Los Alamos and several hundred people from across the state protesting Santa Fe Wednesday against a teacher evaluation proposal in play at the governor’s office. Photo by Karyl Ann Armbruster
By Karyl Ann Armbruster
Hundreds of teachers, instructional assistants, parents, retirees, students, legislators and other community members from Las Cruces to Taos gathered inside and outside the Jerry Apodoca Education Building in Santa Fe Wednesday to testify and protest the proposed teacher evaluation proposal being enacted through executive order by Gov. Susana Martinez with Education Secretary Designee Hannah Skandera, thus bypassing the New Mexico Legislature.
Hundreds of educators circle the Jerry Apodoca Education Building in Santa Fe Wednesday to protest a teacher evaluation proposal. Photo by Karyl Ann Armbruster
Teachers will no longer be solely evaluated on their expertise as a librarian, counselor, art, music or shop teacher, for example, but will have 35 percent of their evaluation based on whether or not students they may never see, pass the state based test.
As numerous speakers pointed out when testifying Wednesday, those who are teaching children to use a wheelchair or read braille are being judged on the same criteria as those who teach AP chemistry.
An alternative proposal for improved teacher evaluation has been presented to the governor and Skandera as well as submitted to the U.S. Department of Education.
That research driven evaluation system would base 40 percent of a teacher’s evaluation on classroom observations, differentiation of instruction, and classroom learning environment, 30 percent from student learning outcome bases on multiple measures during the school year, 10 percent from collective responsibility and collaboration, and 20 percent from student feedback.
Admittedly this evaluation system would be more labor-intensive than just looking at student test scores.