Evaluations give teachers more data - Albuquerque Journal

Evaluations give teachers more data

When New Mexico teachers receive their state-issued evaluations in the coming days, they’ll notice much more detail than last year, when they were rolled out in what turned to be a rocky debut.

The Public Education Department made the evaluations available to principals on Monday and school districts can decide when to distribute them to teachers.

In Albuquerque Public Schools, teachers are expected to receive their evaluations today, spokesman Rigo Chavez said.

New Mexico overhauled its teacher evaluation system last year and, for the first time, issued teacher evaluations based in part on student test scores, a policy that many teachers and some local school officials opposed. They have argued the evaluations don’t accurately measure teacher performance and rely too much on tests.

The PED this year, in response to complaints that teachers didn’t fully understand how ratings were generated, beefed up the evaluation reports with more information.

While teachers previously received a one-page evaluation report, this year the report will be five pages and show how teachers were rated in each of the evaluation categories, including student test scores, principal observations, teacher attendance and student surveys.

“We’ve never had details like this before,” Education Secretary Hanna Skandera said. “It should be a driver for instruction and getting effective teachers in the right places and for supporting those who are struggling.”

It remains to be seen, however, whether the more detailed evaluations will make them more popular among teachers or succeed in helping teachers better understand how they work.

Wilson Middle School Principal Ann Piper hasn’t given her teachers their evaluations yet but said she believes many will remain skeptical.

“My hunch is that it makes the teachers feel like there is more smoke and mirrors,” Piper said.

The PED has provided principals with webinars to instruct them on how to explain evaluations to teachers, Skandera said, adding that she hopes principals walk teachers through the findings and explain how they can be used.

Of the 20,500 teachers rated statewide this year, 73.8 percent rated effective or better on their evaluations, according to Public Education Department data.

That’s down 4.4 percentage points compared with last year, when 78.2 percent of teachers rated effective or better.

At APS, 72.14 percent of the district’s faculty scored effective or better this year, compared with 82.3 percent last year.

Under New Mexico’s teacher evaluation system, test scores carry the most weight, accounting for 50 percent of a teacher’s rating.

The PED uses three years of test scores and calculations, called value-added models, to measure student progress and gauge how much teachers are contributing to student learning.

Value-added models can tease out demographic factors, like poverty, and assess the impact a teacher is having on his or her students, PED officials say.

Critics of the evaluations argue the value-added models don’t in fact accurately measure a teacher’s impact on classroom learning.

The second-biggest category is observation by principals, which in most cases makes up 40 percent of teachers’ scores. The other 10 percent is based on measures that vary by school district but often include teacher attendance or student surveys.

Teachers who are found to be “ineffective” or “minimally effective” are put on performance growth plans under the state’s evaluation system.

Skandera announced in 2012 that the Public Education Department would overhaul New Mexico’s teacher evaluation system by administrative rule, and that the evaluations would rely heavily on student test scores.

Previously, attempts by Gov. Susana Martinez and state Republican lawmakers to pass a law overhauling the evaluation system failed.

Teacher unions in New Mexico have strongly criticized the evaluations and have filed lawsuits to overturn the system. Some local school officials have also been highly critical of the evaluations.

Compounding teacher confusion over the new evaluations last year was that many teachers found errors in their ratings.

Skandera has said the errors were caused by bad data submitted to the state by local school districts. The PED and local districts worked throughout the year to correct the errors, and the department has put in place new safeguards this year to make sure the data used in the evaluations are sound, Skandera has said.

Home » News » Albuquerque News » Evaluations give teachers more data

Insert Question Legislature form in Legis only stories




Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

ABQjournal can get you answers in all pages

 

Questions about the Legislature?
Albuquerque Journal can get you answers
Email addresses are used solely for verification and to speed the verification process for repeat questioners.
1
NM education chief retires as Cabinet turnover continues
ABQnews Seeker
Kurt Steinhaus — New Mexico's third ... Kurt Steinhaus — New Mexico's third public education secretary in four years — announced his retirement Saturday, accelerating an unusual burst of turnover during ...
2
‘Dirty cop’ tests limits of Fifth Amendment privilege
ABQnews Seeker
Glenn Lewellen was “a dirty cop.” ... Glenn Lewellen was “a dirty cop.” That’s a direct quote from an unusually blunt federal court opinion.
3
Roundhouse roundup: Guns, food and liquor measures all on ...
ABQnews Seeker
Gun safety, criminal justice issues, a ... Gun safety, criminal justice issues, a minimum wage battle and a proposed booze ban for state senators were all up for discussion this week.
4
Eastbound I-40 shut down at Carlisle due to crash
ABQnews Seeker
All lanes of eastbound Interstate 40 ... All lanes of eastbound Interstate 40 are closed Saturday afternoon following a crash at Carlisle. Gilbert Gallegos, an Albuquerque police spokesman, said one person ...
5
Fire crews to start pile burns on the east ...
ABQnews Seeker
The U.S. Forest Service will be ... The U.S. Forest Service will be conducting prescribed pile burns over the next week in the area around Sulphur Canyon in the Sandia Mountains. ...
6
There’s almost unlimited clean, geothermal energy under our feet. ...
ABQnews Seeker
Modern drilling capabilities developed by the ... Modern drilling capabilities developed by the oil and gas industry are opening the gateway to deep underground geothermal energy.
7
In the near future, clean geothermal energy could heat ...
ABQnews Seeker
Geothermal makeovers could be gaining ground ... Geothermal makeovers could be gaining ground in New Mexico, thanks to technological advancements.
8
Sandia National Laboratories' drilling research, long used by oil ...
ABQnews Seeker
Sandia wants to make those efforts ... Sandia wants to make those efforts more efficient and less expensive
9
Wrong-way driver killed in crash on West Side
ABQnews Seeker
A wrong-way driver was killed after ... A wrong-way driver was killed after crashing his car into a truck Saturday morning on the West Side. Albuquerque police spokesman Gilbert Gallegos said ...