In response to previous editorials posted in local newspaper outlets over the last few months, which have taken a somewhat dim view of our work, the N.M. Public Education Department Teacher Evaluation Task Force would like to clarify our purpose.
First and foremost, NM educators do want to be evaluated through a system that supports their growth and student success while recognizing the complex nature of what “effective” teaching and learning looks, sounds and feels like. The system must be accurate, fair, grounded in research and should provide actionable and relevant feedback upon which educators can improve their professional capacity.
Needless to say, this process cannot solely be based upon student test scores, as some have asserted.
With political/administrative change also comes policy and procedural change and recent history in New Mexico has not gleaned a teacher evaluation system that has generated trust in its educators, values their dedication to their profession, or that provides useful feedback. Hence, lawmakers and legislators are taking notice, due in large part to recent judicial decisions from New Mexico courts, namely the landmark Yazzie/Martinez ruling.
Additionally, our governor, in her first days in office, demonstrated her commitment to educational excellence by creating this task force of 46 professionals in the field of education from all corners of our great state and from all levels of experience and perspectives.
The efforts of this task force are focused on developing a teacher evaluation system that is built upon collaboration, teacher strengths and abilities, and (that) challenges educators and those who supervise them toward rigor and continuous growth/development – all directed at providing a quality education system that benefits all of New Mexico’s learners.
It is the goal of this group to provide a system (that) gives teachers and other practitioners their voice, the information and explicit feedback they need – in a fashion that validates their hard work and dedication – and also identifies areas that need to be improved upon.