Expert Finds New Mexico Teacher Evaluations Toughest in U.S.
A national publication and an expert found that teacher evaluations in New Mexico are among the toughest in the U.S., as they put a large amount of weight on student test scores on teachers.
New Mexico evaluations from 2015-2016 ranked twice as many teachers as below effective than the other 24 states reviewed in the study, the Albuquerque Journal reported Thursday.
In New Mexico, 28.7 percent of the teachers are rated as below effective. Another 5.4 percent of New Mexico teachers are ranked as minimally effective.
Brown University Assistant Professor Matthew Kraft's study on teacher evaluation systems across the U.S. supports Education Week's claim that the New Mexico's system is harsh on teachers.
Even though his paper, "Revisiting the Widget Effect: Teacher Evaluation Reforms and the Distribution of Teacher Effectiveness," only looks at 24 out of 38 states, Kraft said he is confident that New Mexico has by far the most teachers rated ineffective and minimally effective.
The Public Education Department's system reflects the state's commitment to putting students first, said Christopher Ruszkowski, New Mexico's acting secretary of education.
"In the New Mexico context, we have put student learning at the forefront, the centerpiece of everything that we do," Ruszkowski told the Journal. "The fact that other states have not always done that, to me, is more of a testament to the work that New Mexico has done and more of a black mark on those other states."
In the past, New Mexico had a system that rated 99 percent of the teachers as effective and Ruszkowski said it seemed to hold them to limited accountability for their performance in the classroom. The state should be proud of its current system, he said.
Charles Goodmacher with the National Education Association of New Mexico said that the current system makes teachers feel devalued and puts the state's poor education outcomes on their shoulders.
"This report shows the PED system delivers results that are extreme and out-of-touch with what all other states find about teacher proficiency," he said in an emailed statement.
The National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers New Mexico have sued to stop the evaluation system. Under an injection won by the American Federation of Teacher in 2015, consequential actions based on the evaluations are blocked.