About: NMACT Staff

Recent Posts by NMACT Staff

2014-2015 School Year

What a time to be an educator, particularly in New Mexico. As you are all aware we are plunging into uncharted territory. Fortunately most administrators feel as if they are in the "boat" with us. This summer the LESC heard about the "mistakes" in the new evaluation system. Everyone was disappointed that our PED would release the "incorrect" information and the harm that it caused good teachers. We can all hope for a smoother process this year. The new PARCC Test was also a topic and let's hope at least the infrastructure issues have been addressed. This is also an election year. The Gary King organization has reached out to NMACT and even met with our President, Marilyn Orr. NMACT will not endorse any candidate. We have always been nonpartisan and will remain that way. We have reached out to the Susana Martinez organization and would like to sponsor a Town Hall type...
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2014 Legislative Session

This Legislative session could be very critical to New Mexico Public Education. The first two Saturdays has seen many education stakeholders give statements on the House Floor that question the wisdom of the Governor's education reforms.  Nothing that you do not know yourself or have heard many times. The significant difference seems to be that these criticisms are not just coming from Albuquerque, Las Cruces, Rio Rancho and Santa Fe but from Charter School, Hobbs, Melrose, Texico and Roy. How our PED will react is unknown. It is increasingly apparent that these reforms have no base of support. NMACT Leadership Group will be in Santa Fe the week of the 3rd. We have meetings scheduled with members of both political parties, the Director of the LESC,  and the PED. We have requested a meeting with the Governor but as of this date she has not responded. Our message will be to...
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Teacher Evaluations/ Legislative Update

The Legislature recently held hearings on our new evaluations process. The overwhelming message was "It's to far to time consuming." Several members of the committee suggested a moratorium while others felt the problem was not the system but educators. It is very obvious that the only chance of stopping this is through the court challenge. I hope we can,  like many other states "tap the brakes" on this and other reforms but I am just One New Mexico Teacher....
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Parents Choice?

After reading this story on KOBTV website (http://www.kob.com/article/stories/S3152849.shtml?cat=500) I started thinking about what would happen in New Mexico if parents refused to allow their children to take the SBA? What are the benefits to students and parents of taking the tests? They are used in High School as a graduation requirement but a student could still graduate by using the ADC (alternative demonstration of competency) . We are told that they can be used to improve instruction but aren't the multiple assessments that the classroom teacher gives better for that purpose? So, if there are few if any benefit for students why would a parent want to subject their child to "high stakes" (for teachers and schools) testing? If I were a parent of a school age child the decision would not be hard for me but I am just One New Mexico Teacher.  ...
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Welcome Back

I hope everyone's first days of the new school year went well. By now I feel you have heard enough about the new evaluation system, school grades and data driven decision making.  Many of us long for the days when we could do what we love to do, Teach Kids! NMACT has fielded more calls about school issues than I can remember. What this indicates to me is that with all these changes being implemented  experienced teachers are becoming worried about their jobs.  Is this what the PED wants? Once again we believe that we will not see a significant increase in teacher non-renewals this year. There are presently to many problems in the evaluation system to successfully withstand legal challenges. The state of New York administered the PARCC test this year and their proficiency rates dropped dramatically. A lot of "finger pointing" going around but it does seem the cut scores...
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An Educator’s Thoughts

I found this and thought others would appreciate its message. It is from a principal in upstate New York, Peter Dewitt.  I enthusiastically agree but I am just One New Mexico Teacher. I don't want to sound arrogant but most school leaders know more than the state education department does...where teachers and students are concerned. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't find professional development and learning opportunities for myself and for the teachers I am honored to work with every day. Unlike state education commissioners who lack real educational experience, I have spent eighteen years in public education as both a teacher and a principal. On top of that I taught graduate education courses and do a lot of professional writing, but to the state education department I will probably be seen as ineffective or developing. You know what? I'm honored to take the title. If ineffective or developing means...
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Teacher Evaluation PED’s Public Hearing

For the third time NMACT attended the PED's public hearing on the new teacher evaluation system. We explained the pitfalls of relying on one "high stakes" test and using observation evaluators that were not the teacher's supervisors. As in previous hearings our concerns were not heeded. It was interesting to hear from members of the Secretary's New Mexico Teach Committee, you know the committee that was created by the Secretary to develop the new evaluation system. Members of that committee spoke out against the proposal saying that it went against their recommendations. It is clear that the Secretary has an agenda and educator input is not respected. Now more than ever we must remain strong and together. There will be many issues going forward and we at NMACT are in this for the long haul. While we must accept this directive from the PED we can also continue to point out...
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PED Public Hearing

Monday the 29th of July NMACT will attend the Public Hearing and give comments to the Secretary-Designee regarding the new Teacher Evaluation process. Using student achievement as part of a teacher's evaluation does not concern us. Our concern is the manner the PED wants to use to determine achievement. One "high stakes" test is a very poor tool. We feel the best judge of student achievement is the classroom teacher. We are professionals and are more than capable of determining whether or not our students are learning. That is the way it was accomplished before the era of mandated tests.  Sure seemed to work well for a very long time. We are not naive and realize our thoughts will fall on deaf ears but please everyone give us your input and we will make your views known. One New Mexico Teacher...
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PED/ Legislative Update

Last week we were able to hear Public School attorneys and the Secretary Designee speak about the new Teacher Evaluation System. As to be expected the Secretary thinks it will solve all the educational issues in the State and its implementation will be flawless. School attorneys are not as convinced.  They fully understand there will be legal challenges once a tenured teacher is not extended a contract. There are just so many things wrong with the process it is difficult to believe it will survive. We have all received our school's A-F grade and once again we are mystified at how they were determined. One elementary school in Albuquerque had 80 to 90 percent of their students meeting or exceeding proficiency and yet they received a C. How can we be expected to trust the PED's statisticians to properly determine a teachers ability to do their job? I have no confidence...
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New Mexico Teacher

Hi, I'm Frank and I am the new Executive Director of New Mexico Association of Classroom Teachers(NMACT). NMACT is the oldest Teacher Organization in the State and our primary purpose is to provide low cost Educator Professional Liability Insurance. Our costs have remained low because we have no paid staff and minimal overhead expenses. To find out more about us please visit our website at NMACT.com. NMACT is a non-partisan, non-political organization. We are only concerned about education issues in the State of New Mexico. Our leadership also provides representation to our members in workplace conflicts and legal assistance when needed.
We also work very closely with State Legislators and the staff of the Legislative Education Study Committee to insure that educators concerns are heard. As you well know public education in New Mexico is going through a period of dynamic changes. Teachers are trying to deal with A-F, Common Core,...
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