SANTA FE (KRQE) – The results of controversial new teacher evaluations are in and one in four teachers didn’t receive a passing grade.
About 76 percent of the 16,000 teachers rated under New Mexico’s new evaluation system were rated as effective of better. Fewer than 2 percent of teachers were given an exemplary rating. A little more than 3 percent of teachers were found ineffective.
“We’ve taken a step from a broken system to a much improved system,” Education Secretary-designate Hanna Skandera told KRQE News 13.
The old system took a pass-fail approach. Under it, more than 99 percent of teachers were found competent.
Skandera said the new system was needed.
“I am 100 percent sure we have taken a huge step forward with a better system that gives us a better picture for our teachers and ultimately, for our kids,” Skandera said.
According to Skandera, 40 percent of an evaluation is based on classroom observations; 50 percent on student achievement; and the other 10 percent on factors like attendance or student surveys, depending on the district.
The evaluations have been highly controversial.
Stephanie Ly, the president of the American Federation of Teachers of New Mexico, says the new evaluations rely too heavily on how students do on standardized tests.
“We don’t believe in the system, therefore we don’t believe in the results,” Ly said. “We believe there are far more teachers who are effective and highly effective, but when you have a flawed evaluation system set up in place, you can’t trust the results that come out.”
Several thousand educators were not included in the results released by the state. According to Public Education Department, some districts submitted incorrect data, while others are still turning in information for the evaluations.
District by district breakdowns aren’t available right now.
Individual teacher’s scores will not be made public.