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Editorial: Education status quo should listen to parents

A new poll shows a strong majority of parents nationwide think their children are given the right amount of standardized tests, and that the results provide a useful way to measure student and school performance.

That’s despite the pervasive claim from some quarters that too much time is wasted administering high-stakes tests.

The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll found 61 percent of parents think their children take an appropriate number of standardized tests; 75 percent say the tests are a solid measure of their children’s abilities; and 69 percent say the tests are a good measure of school quality.

Teachers’ unions – including those in New Mexico – have successfully derailed legislative attempts to incorporate a significant level of student test performance/improvement in evaluations. The Martinez administration is now implementing such evaluations administratively, and criticism from the entrenched education establishment comes almost daily.

The majority of parents polled also want additional components to make up the evals: 56 percent of parents believe classroom observations should be included, and 74 percent want districts to help struggling teachers. Both are part of the evaluation system being implemented this school year in New Mexico.

As the pushback to education reforms continues, it is important to recognize that many of the real stakeholders – parents trying to ensure their children have the educations they need to be productive members of society – support the tests as well as linking the results to teacher performance evaluations.

This editorial first appeared in the Albuquerque Journal. It was written by members of the editorial board and is unsigned as it represents the opinion of the newspaper rather than the writers.


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