WASHINGTON—Following is a statement from AFT President Randi Weingarten on a Santa Fe judge’s ruling to grant a preliminary injunction that will immediately halt the use of New Mexico’s flawed teacher evaluation system.
“In a decision that will resonate through communities across America, Judge Thomson recognized that New Mexico's teacher evaluation system is deeply flawed, and deprives students of the high-quality educators they deserve while also hurting and demoralizing teachers—the very people we rely on to help students. The ruling stays the use of the New Mexico value-added system and should be a wake-up call to Gov. Susana Martinez and state Education Secretary Hanna Skandera who promoted this system, despite warnings from major educational research organizations and others about using value-added measures for high-stakes decisions.
“Superintendents, principals, parents, students and the teachers have spoken out against a system that is so rife with errors that in some districts as many as 60 percent of evaluations were incorrect. It is telling that the judge characterizes New Mexico's system as a 'policy experiment' and says that it seems to be a 'Beta test where teachers bear the burden for its uneven and inconsistent application.'
“With today's ruling, our hope is that we can begin to work toward a fair, reliable and comprehensive evaluation system based on what supports student success and educator improvement.”