The New Mexico AFT blasted the Public Education Department for delaying the trial of the state’s controversial teacher evaluation system. Secretary of Education Hanna Skandera previously worked for Jeb Bush and Arnold Schwarzenegger. She is a member of “Chiefs for Change,” the ultraconservative superintendents originally assembled by Jeb to promote corporate reform.



American Federation of Teachers New Mexico and
Albuquerque Teachers Federation
React to Delay by PED on Court Hearing
New Rules Expected from PED March 15;
will Double Down on VAM
March 7, 2016

Contact: John Dyrcz

Albuquerque – American Federation of Teachers New Mexico President Stephanie Ly and Albuquerque Teachers Federation President Ellen Bernstein released the following statement:

“The Public Education Department and Secretary Skandera have once again willfully delayed the AFT NM/ATF lawsuit against the current value added model evaluation system due to their purposeful refusal to reveal the data being used to evaluate our educators in New Mexico.

“In addition to this stall tactic, and during a status hearing this morning in the First District Court, lawyers for the PED revealed that new rules and regulations were to be unveiled on March 15 by the PED, and would ‘rely heavily’ on VAM as a method of evaluation for educators.

“New Mexico educators will not cease in our fight against the abusive policies of this administration. Allowing PED or districts to terminate employees based on VAM and student test scores is completely unacceptable, it is unacceptable to allow PED or districts to refuse licensure advancement based upon VAM scores, and it is unacceptable for PED or districts to place New Mexico educators on growth plans based on faulty data.

“High-performing education systems have policies
in place which respect and support their educators and use evaluations not as punitive measures but as opportunities for improvement. Educators, unions, and administrators should oversee the evaluation process to ensure it is thorough and of high quality, as well as fair and reliable. Educators, unions, and administrators should be involved in developing, implementing and monitoring the system to ensure it reflects good teaching well, that it operates effectively, that it is tied to useful learning opportunities for teachers, and that it produces valid results. 

“It is well known the PED is in a current state of crisis with several high-level staff members abandoning the Department, an on-going whistle-blower lawsuit, and the failure to produce meaningful changes to education in New Mexico during her six years as Secretary, and Skandera’s constant changes to the rules is a desperate attempt to right a sinking ship,” said Ly and Bernstein.