AFT New Mexico Responds To Evaluation, Sick Leave Changes
Commentary: Albuquerque – American Federation of Teachers New Mexico President Stephanie Ly released the following statement:
“This afternoon, Governor Martinez announced changes to the New Mexico evaluation system she described as ‘compromises’ between educators in New Mexico public schools and the Public Education Department during a tightly controlled press conference at an Albuquerque charter school.
“Among these so-called compromises is a decrease in the use of student achievement measures from 50% to 35% used in teacher evaluations, and an increase in the number of sick days – to six – a teacher can use before they are negatively impacted on their evaluation.
“Once again, Governor Martinez’s actions speak louder than her words. Even with the reduction in reliance on student achievement measures, New Mexico educators will still be evaluated on standardized student achievement at some of the highest levels nationwide, and the use of six days of leave is still four days short of what district contracts provide.
“Unfortunately, Governor Martinez seems to be hoping her superficial changes to New Mexico’s evaluation system will distract New Mexico educators from the fact she continues to veto quality bi-partisan legislation promoting career technical education, increasing instructional freedom in the classroom, increasing access to equitable education for Native American students, recognizing the achievements of National Board Certified Teachers, and even legislation aimed at overhauling the teacher evaluation system in New Mexico using true grassroots input from educational professionals, instead of a hand-selected group by the Public Education Department.
“The bottom line is this: thirty-five percent of a court-determined unsound system is still unsound, and six days of leave without penalty is still four days short of the dignity provided in contracts across the State. Today’s announcement is just another example of Governor Susana Martinez and Secretary Hanna Skandera’s continued contempt for the tens of thousands of New Mexico’s hard working public educators who continue to oppose her so-called political reforms.”