New Mexico to consider teacher attendance in evaluations

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SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) – New requirements for teacher evaluations have taken New Mexico school districts by surprise.

The New Mexican reports that the state Public Education Department will now require attendance to be factored in to teachers’ performance evaluations. In previous years, districts were allowed to choose between including teachers’ attendance or parent and student surveys to make up 10 percent of the evaluation.

Public Education Secretary Hanna Skandera says the state is now requiring both as it moves toward a more uniform evaluation system. The department sent out notices to school officials in January and August.

The state says including attendance helps reduce teacher absence, saving money and increasing students’ learning time.

But school officials like Santa Fe Superintendent Veronica Garcia say they don’t want teachers to come to work sick.

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