Public Education Department

Judge Teachers Honorably

Sep 29, 2015
Olympia School District, State of Washington

Teachers unions filed a lawsuit earlier this year saying that the state Public Education Department’s evaluation of teachers using student standardized test scores is punitive. 

PED recently decided to de-emphasize test scores in teacher evaluations and to make allowances for instructors whose subjects are not evaluated on standardized tests—like music and art.

Commentator Andrea Mays says this is a good first step toward assessing the difficult work teachers do.

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An audit released today found weaknesses and deficiencies when it comes to funding requirements for special education. 

Dick Thomas Johnson

UPDATE 6:05 pm - NEA New Mexico's Charles Goodmacher was in the courtroom late this afternoon and said the judge ruled in favor of the union. We will be following this story as it unfolds. Check back for updates.

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.

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.

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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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.

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.


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.