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Union boss protests evaluations to PED

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With the new school year less than two weeks away, Albuquerque Public Schools is asking local businesses to donate to the APS Community Clothing Bank.

APS recently took over the clothing bank when the Bernalillo County PTA announced it could no longer run it. The clothing bank, which serves thousands of students each year, has often struggled to stay afloat in hard times when donations decrease.

APS Superintendent Winston Brooks threw down the gauntlet with a $5,000 donation, which he challenged local businesses to match. Brooks recently won a national education leadership award that came with a $5,000 cash prize.

“Shoes and clothes are basic necessities that kids must have to succeed in school, so it only made sense for APS to take over the clothing bank to make sure we continue to provide this critical service in our community,” Brooks said in a news release.

New Mexico Educators Federal Credit Union, Comcast and Technology Integration Group have already donated at least $5,000 each.

Businesses and individuals who wish to donate money can contact Phill Casaus at casaus@aps.edu or 878-6165. Those interested in donating new or gently used clothing can contact Sonja Martens at martens@aps.edu or 855-5267.

Evaluation protest

Stephanie Ly, the president of the New Mexico chapter of the American Federation of Teachers, staged a protest of sorts at a Public Education Department hearing Monday.

The hearing was held to gather public input about proposed amendments to the administrative rule governing teacher evaluations. Ly spoke while wearing handcuffs and covered her mouth with duct tape after speaking. According to a news release, this was meant to symbolize the idea that educators have been bound and silenced during development of the state’s new teacher evaluation system.

“The hands of our communities, students and educators are tied and our voices are silenced,” Ly said, according to the release.

The proposed amendments to the teacher evaluation rule mainly center on the classroom observation portion. The changes would define more specifically who can qualify as a classroom observer and would allow teachers to be evaluated based on two classroom observations, rather than three, as long as those observations were by different people.

Del Norte work

Albuquerque Public Schools and the city of Albuquerque began construction Monday of a new entrance and exit to Del Norte High School, which will cause some lane closures in the short term but is expected to eventually decrease congestion at the school.

The new entrance will be on Montgomery, east of San Mateo.

During construction, there will be periodic lane restrictions along westbound Montgomery. The sidewalk on the north side of the street and the pedestrian bridge over Montgomery also will be closed.

The project is expected to take between 45 and 60 days.

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