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Teach Plus Commends New Mexico Governor and PED for Listening to Teachers When Making Changes to the Teacher Evaluation Rules

April 2, 2017

Albuquerque, NM–Teach Plus today released the following statement regarding changes to teacher evaluation rules in New Mexico.

“Teach Plus strongly commends the Governor and the Public Education Department (PED) for listening to the recommendations of teachers across New Mexico and making changes to the teacher evaluation rules. At a time when teacher evaluation systems across the country are falling apart because of overreach, New Mexico is a shining example of success in taking a pragmatic approach to building a sustainable, long-term solution to evaluation that teachers support.

In November 2016, Teach Plus New Mexico Policy Fellows who teach at public schools across the state concluded a statewide poll of over 1,000 teachers on teacher evaluations that translated to a set of policy recommendations authored by the Fellows. The poll results acknowledged the importance of student academic achievement while at the same time highlighting the desire of teachers to be equally evaluated by observation of their classroom practice.

“We wanted to create a system that held teachers accountable, because our students deserve that and a system that was balanced, accurate, and used as a tool to support educators, because our teachers deserve that.” said Hope Morales, a teacher on special assignment at Military Heights Elementary School in Roswell and Teach Plus New Mexico Policy Fellow.

The new teacher evaluation rules include the key policy recommendations of the Teach Plus Policy Fellows and teachers across the state. Recommendations include:

  • Equal weighting for student academic growth and principal observations, each worth 35%;
  • Increasing the number of allowable personal days away from the classroom from three (3) to six (6);

“We worked with legislators on both sides of the aisle and in both chambers to get the voice of teachers included in law on this critical issue. When they were unable to make progress, we shared our recommendations with the Public Education Department (PED), and they heard us,” said Christopher Eide, National Director of State Policy. “With the new rules, the PED is showing that they are serious about listening to teachers who bring well-researched and solutions-oriented recommendations to the table. This is an important moment for the teaching profession in New Mexico.”

With these changes in place, it will be critical for New Mexico’s education leadership to ensure that school communities have the continuity they need for this critical policy to work for teachers and students. Teach Plus and Teach Plus teachers recommend that New Mexico commits to leaving this structure in place for a minimum of five years in order to give it a chance to succeed.

Teach Plus is a national nonprofit that empowers excellent, experienced teachers to take leadership over key policy and practice issues that affect their students' success. www.teachplus.org

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