APS board to take testing concerns to Governor’s Office

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Albuquerque Public Schools will do more than pass a resolution outlining the school board’s concerns with standardized tests and the role they play in teacher evaluations and school grades, district officials said Tuesday.

Board President Analee Maestas plans to meet with Gov. Susana Martinez in two weeks to discuss the board’s concerns, she said during a board committee meeting. It’s unclear if additional board members will join Maestas.

The board also voted to draft a letter to Education Secretary-designate Hanna Skandera outlining those concerns that members hope to approve during its regular meeting next week, members said.

In the meantime, they will continue to work on a resolution, which they have discussed during several recent meetings, the board said.

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Several board members said the letter and the meeting should help spark a dialogue with the Governor’s Office and the Public Education Department. Others were less confident. But they all agreed to go forward with the measures.

The board also discussed a draft resolution brought by member Kathy Korte, which was written with the help of some parent groups and teachers.

It asked for a moratorium on New Mexico’s new statewide standardized test – the Partnership for Assessment of College and Career Readiness exam – and state-mandated end-of-course exams.

Board member David Peercy said the resolution needed work before the board should vote on it. For one thing, he said the resolution didn’t define what kind of moratorium it was calling for. Secondly, it was very critical of the governor’s educational initiatives, which probably would not produce the desired effect of creating a dialogue between the state and APS, Peercy said.

“We don’t want to bad-mouth people,” he said. “If we want to work with these people we need to put in something positive.”

By something positive, Peercy said he meant a possible solution to some of the concerns the board has regarding the state’s education initiatives.

Board member Lorenzo Garcia said he’s not opposed to meeting with the governor but he wants it to lead to some actual policy negotiations otherwise it will be for naught.

“I’m not interested in a photo-op,” Garcia said.

Board members expressed concern Tuesday – and in past meetings – about how schools will adapt to PARCC, and the role test scores play in teacher evaluations.

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