Law & Courts News in Brief

With N.M. ‘Gag Order’ Lifted, Teachers Able to Pan Tests

By Emmanuel Felton — May 31, 2016 1 min read

Just weeks after New Mexico teachers took the state to court over a ban on school employees deriding standardized tests, state education officials have announced that they will abolish the so-called “gag order.”

Robert McEntyre, a spokesman for the state education department, called the 2009 ban an unintentional holdover from the administration of previous Governor Bill Richardson.

In settling the case, the state has backed off of earlier claims that the lawsuit—which was filed by the New Mexico branch of the American Civil Liberties Union—was just a part of an “extreme agenda” against all testing.

ACLU attorney María Mártinez Sánchez says that lifting the ban was necessary for the public to be able to tap teachers’ critical wisdom in the ongoing debate about the proper role of testing in schools.

Mary Mackie, a teacher at Montezuma Elementary School in Albuquerque and one of the suit’s plaintiffs, told the news service that the decision was also a win for parents.

A version of this article appeared in the June 01, 2016 edition of Education Week as With N.M. ‘Gag Order’ Lifted, Teachers Able to Pan Tests

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