The state’s Public Education Department is rolling out a new system it says will “evaluate” teachers.
It replaces evaluations that put student improvement front and center. Those evaluations, installed under the prior administration, were controversial, and though they were revised several times to balance student academic achievements with teacher concerns, they never received buy-in from those being evaluated. Little wonder they were among the first things Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham jettisoned when she took office last year.
Teacher Evals 2.0, aka the Elevate New Mexico system, will use professional development plans created by teachers, observations from fellow teachers and administrators, and surveys of families and students to gauge teacher performance. Notably absent is any mention of student academic achievement or teacher attendance.
PED Deputy Secretary Gwen Perea Warniment says while academic progression of students can be used to map out professional development plans, student achievement data will not be directly tied to teacher evaluations. Evaluating teachers with zero regard for the actual job they do – teaching students who are supposed to get a year’s worth of learning in a year – is shocking in light of the Yazzie/Martinez court ruling that says the state must stop giving short shrift to students, especially at-risk populations.
With evaluations like this, we will never know if we have done right by our more than 300,000 K-12 public school students.