Category Archives: Standardized Tests

A Better Plan

hopeNew Mexico has focused resources and years in large amount on systems of accountability in education. When we began this pursuit, the research showed that the closest correlation to test scores was socio-economics.  Hundreds of millions of dollars and a decade later, we have relentlessly proven what we already knew, that test scores most closely correlate to socio-economic status.  It makes sense that poverty and trauma preoccupy people to the exclusion of learning, and instead of improving education by holding educators accountable for this, we have driven out educators, as well as many other New Mexicans.  Instead of attracting highly qualified educators to the profession, the original stated goal of this process, we are one of the least attractive states for educators, which has the added effect of driving away business or other positive influences on our economy, creating more poverty and trauma that deepens with each cycle, because with each generation it becomes a self perpetuating, more ingrained part of the culture.  If we had spent equal amounts on child nutrition, the education of families, and early childhood education, the need to hold someone accountable for the educational outcomes of those causes would have been greatly diminished.  We would have been on the other side of the feedback loop, the likes of Amazon would not so easily dismiss our state as a viable place to do business.

Jeff Apodaca’s plan to jumpstart the state by using a percentage of the 23 billion dollars we have is the only plan I’ve heard of bold enough to intervene in the death spiral New Mexico is in.  I have not heard from any other candidate for governor anything that will change our course, only timid proposals which will cement our identity as the state of the poor, abused, highest in crime, and 50th in everything else.  I like the guy who keeps talking about hope, who has articulated a clear plan.  I urge you to research the platforms of each of the gubernatorial candidates, whichever way you vote.  Here is Jeff’s.  

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Filed under Education, politics, Politics in education, Standardized Tests, testing

Take Back

Wally Walstrom and I have been editing videos today, that we hope to put up on the internet. The union asked teachers to send photographs of what they would like to “take back” in education, and they spotted subs for Wally and I.

I look at all of the hundreds of photographs of teachers who sent something in, people who have some fight left in them. People who will not quietly pass the torch of public education to corporations. Why not? Because when the bottom line is money rather than education, you get these CEO’s and politicians that are looking for tickets. But when you finally discover that you want people who will throw their whole selves at educating the public because they choose the intrinsic value of human life, and the potential of others, over what they themselves could have pocketed, then at last you will understand what a teacher is. These are the faces I look at now.

I have a great sense of humility about this. I have no illusions that this slapped together work on my part today will live up to your work, but I hope the general public, in just seeing your faces, will remember with their vote at the next gubernatorial election. Would that our leaders could have half the dedication and even a small amount of understanding or experience in education, that any of you do.

Hang in there. Keep your gloves on. Tonight at the APS board meeting the procedure for opting out of the test is on the agenda. This will hit people in their pocketbooks. Not just the publishers, the governor, but also all of the people in education whose schools will be downgraded. Merit pay will be attached to those tests not taken, because when I say “merit” I mean “test score”. Our true merits come in the lives lived out by the people we have taught, rather than the bubbles they have filled in.

Brace. Now is the winter of our discontent.

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Filed under Education, education solutions, Governor Martinez, opting out of testing, Standardized Tests, testing, Uncategorized