Public Education Department

Local News
6:13 pm
Wed February 25, 2015

Testing Opt Out Spreads

Anna Gilboard and her mother, Kristen Kohlstruk, are encouraging classmates and parents to opt out of standardized testing.
Credit Rita Daniels

High-stakes testing at schools across New Mexico begins next week. So far about 500 parents in Albuquerque have opted out of the tests on behalf of their children.

Fifth-grader Anna Gilboard goes to Bandelier Elementary School in Albuquerque. She opted out. The eleven-year old said she’d rather learn than take tests for hours on end.

“I get super stressed about these tests so I don’t do really well on them,” Gilboard said. “I feel like I’m failing my teacher when I do that.”

Fifty percent of a teacher’s evaluation is based on student test scores.

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Local News
5:38 pm
Fri February 20, 2015

Third Grade Retention Hits Snag In State Senate

Credit GoodNCrazy via flickr

The Senate Public Affairs Committee rejected legislation this week to hold back third-graders who do not perform well on a standardized reading test. The bill to end so-called social promotion failed on a party line vote.

Sen. Mimi Stewart, a Democrat from Albuquerque who opposed the bill, said thousands of third-graders would have been held back every year, regardless of their progress in subjects other than reading.

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Local News
3:24 pm
Mon February 2, 2015

Ballots To Be Cast For School Board

New Mexico's school board elections occur on odd number years.
Credit dfirecop via flickr

Folks scattered throughout New Mexico will have the opportunity to cast their votes February 3rd in school board elections.

On Tuesday voters will elect school board members in 89 school districts across the state.

The non-partisan candidates must live in their district and be willing to serve a four year term without receiving payment for their work.

School boards hire superintendents, craft school policy and keep tabs on how a district's money is spent.

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Local News
6:16 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

Teacher Evaluation System Remains A Source Of Contention

The teacher evaluation system that has been unpopular with with educators went into effect last year.
Credit alkruse24 via Flickr


Education Secretary-Designate Hanna Skandera defended New Mexico’s new teacher evaluation system on Monday before lawmakers. She told the Legislative Education Study Committee that her department is working on fixing technical glitches in the system, but that there is no need to alter how teacher evaluations are calculated. As of now, 50 percent of a teacher’s evaluation is based on how students perform on standardized tests.

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Local News
5:59 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

Educators Sue Martinez Administration

Charles Bowyer is the executive director of NEA New Mexico. He says the lawsuit against Skandera is no small thing.
Credit Rita Daniels

An education labor union has filed a lawsuit in state district court against Public Education Secretary Designate Hannah Skandara.  The National Education Association of New Mexico says they are at their wits’ end over the teacher evaluation system and are asking the courts to intervene.

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Local News
3:49 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

Taos Teacher Rebuffs Bonus

Taos High School teacher Francis Hahn turned down thousands of dollars from the state saying everyone from custodians to cooks to middle school teachers are responsible for a student's success.


A Taos High School Advanced Placement English teacher has turned down a $5,000 bonus from the state education department, criticizing Governor Susana Martinez’s education initiatives.

When Francis Hahn received a letter from the Public Education Department informing him that his application for a stipend for teaching AP students had been approved, he was confused. The literature and composition teacher had never heard of the bonus, so he made some calls and found out the reward was based on his students’ AP test scores from a couple of years ago.

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