In response to Rep. Tim Lewis’s opinion piece, printed May 18:
I see my children working hard to learn every day. I see a majority of their teachers showing up to work and teaching from their heart. I hear my children talk about what they learned or something their teacher said that resonates powerfully. I see my children’s grades. I see the notes from my children’s teachers that keep me up to date on my children’s success and/or weaknesses. I communicate with my children’s teachers often and they are quick to respond despite their busy day-to-day lesson plans.
I see the programs APS has for students who are successful, struggling, dropped out and returned to school, are pregnant, raising a child or children, have a learning disability, or live in poverty and must work to help their family AND continue to work on their high school diploma.
Role of governor?
What role does Gov. Martinez have in what I see? Not much other than wasted money, time, and energy — nothing other than teachers having less time to teach my children. Not much of a role from our governor other than districts scrambling to fund much-needed programs because she either cut funding or vetoed a request. What I see is many teachers who are unable to spend time with their own children during school hours because now they are worried how attending their child’s school event might reflect on their attendance record and hurt their evaluation. By the way, these teachers must enter data into a flawed system that dictates if they are effective or ineffective with bizarre variables that make no sense. I wonder how Rep. Lewis feels about this? How does his evaluation look?
Yes, Gov. Martinez has created change in our public school system, Rep. Lewis, but not the kind you describe in your opinion piece. You wrote, “And she did it while protecting classroom spending.” That is a joke, Rep. Lewis, right? You have to be kidding. There is not one teacher I know who would agree with your statement.
I know many teachers have to either ask and/or beg parents for monetary donations during the school year, ask parents for classroom supplies such as paper, hand sanitizer, paper towels, Kleenex, and dry erase markers, or the teachers use their own money to supply their classroom.
Rep. Lewis made this statement, “We should applaud the governor for treating us like professionals by implementing more accountability.” Rep. Lewis, are you trying to add the title “comedian” to your résumé?
A question to all New Mexico public school educators: Do you feel Gov. Martinez is treating you like a professional? Please correct me if I am wrong, but I am pretty sure the answer is no — otherwise we would not have a mass amount of teachers leaving.
Rep. Lewis explained how Gov. Martinez wanted to give teachers raises. What a deceitful statement! The answer to whom she wants those raises to go to can be found in Rep. Lewis’ own statement: “This year, she pushed to give starting teachers a 10 percent salary increase.” Key words: “starting teachers.” What about the other teachers? Here is another statement: “In addition, the governor gave every teacher a 3 percent pay increase this year.” Really? Tell the truth, Rep. Lewis.
Rep. Lewis writes, “On top of that, excellent teachers in some school districts will now get extra pay in recognition of their efforts.” Rep. Lewis, please define an “excellent teacher.”
Oh my, how some lawmakers with an agenda spin the truth.
Here’s the truth: My children’s teachers, past and present, are the reason my children push themselves for success in school. Gov. Martinez did not improve my children’s education, their teachers did.
(Eve Candelaria is a nurse at University of New Mexico Hospital and has two children who attend APS schools. She is a member of Stand4KidsNM.)