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Teacher Evaluation Task Force Misses Deadline

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The deadline came and went Monday for Gov. Susana Martinez’s teacher evaluation task force to issue its report, with no word on what the group’s recommendations will be.

Public Education Department spokesman Larry Behrens said the recommendations on how to evaluate teachers are almost done.

“While they are still being finalized, we fully expect the recommendations to be delivered to the governor by the end of the week,” Behrens said.

The task force was established in April by executive order and charged with developing a teacher evaluation system that is at least 50 percent based on student achievement. According to the order, a final report and recommendations were due Monday to Martinez. The order also says the task force’s final report must be made public and provided to the Legislature.

The task force is chaired by Secretary of Education-designate Hanna Skandera, and includes a mix of parents, school administrators, teachers, parents, lawmakers and one teachers union representative. The task force has met frequently throughout the summer and has studied literature on student achievement and specifically on “value-added” measures of teacher effectiveness.

Value-added systems measure how much a student advanced from the previous year, after factors like demographics and previous test performances are held constant. Detractors say value-added systems are not reliable enough to use for high-stakes decisions like firing and compensating teachers.

Martinez established the task force through executive order after the Legislature failed to approve a bill that would have done so.
— This article appeared on page C2 of the Albuquerque Journal

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