NM senators get behind Martinez's sch...

NM senators get behind Martinez's school-grading plan

There are 33 comments on the Las Cruces Sun-News story from Feb 15, 2011, titled NM senators get behind Martinez's school-grading plan. In it, Las Cruces Sun-News reports that:

Gov. Susana Martinez's proposal to give every public school a letter grade of A through F gained political momentum Monday, as state senators endorsed it.

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how about this

Birmingham, MI

#1 Feb 15, 2011
How about letter grades for elected officials?
sincamisa

Santa Fe, NM

#2 Feb 15, 2011
The problem is, that if graduation rates are used, schools will just pass students to gain the rate. Tie the school's grade to passing the final graduation testing that is in place now. I hope that is what they meant.

Oh, and forget this ridiculous "certificate of completion" they are handing out now. That just means you showed up basically.

NM education is in such miserable shape it is behind all neighboring states including Mexico. Parents here legally from Mexico have complained to me that while they are here, their children are forced to either be in a class where they have already studied the material, or be in a class with kids TWO years older. Yes we are two years behind Mexican schools.

Again, I am impressed with most the actions the Governor is taking.
ddg

Farmington, NM

#3 Feb 15, 2011
Until the students and the parents are held responsible for the schoolwork there will be continued faliure. Parents view school as a baby-sitting service. Students view school as a social gathering. The teachers do all they can. The simple lack of self-responsibility on the students' and parents' behalf is what is wrong with the educational system.
ILOVEDUMMIES

Monroe, MI

#5 Feb 15, 2011
Oh yeah!! Slightly better test scores with less actual education-everybody's dream. Anyone involved who cannot do their simple research to determine the BS level of Martinez and Skandera probably is a product of NM schools. All this is just NCLB on steroids- I encourage all students to boycott testing or intentionally fail.
Michael L Hays

Las Cruces, NM

#6 Feb 15, 2011
It's dead wrong to teach to a test, but we have to have some metric," he said. "I don't hear any suggestions for an alternative."--Steven Fischmann

Fischmann engages in the usual political double-talk: "It's wrong...BUT.... When he goes on to say that has not heard alternatives, I know that he is wrong and that he knows that he is wrong.

In particular, Fischmann is believes that science and history must be sacrificed for reading and math in order to boost test scores. Has he ever asked whether the quest of higher test scores inspires students to learn? Has he ever considered that an over-emphasis on skills and an under-emphasis on information about the real world are a prescription for boredom and mediocrity?

It certain seems strange for Democrats like Fischmann to approve stigmatizing students and schools with "bad grades" especially since they and parents can do little about it. And, if they could and wanted to--they will not, for many reasons--how can schools at capacity accept transfers? This legislation is a sham.

Moreover, the idea of giving additional funds to the better schools implies, if more money makes a difference, that those doing well can do better, but that those not doing well cannot get better and will get comparatively worse. This legislation is another way to help the few at the expense of the many.

I suggest that Fischmann out himself as a Republican and change parties.

I invite readers to check out NMPolitics.net today or tomorrow for a longer column on the threatened damage to public education by more of the same devices of "accountability," etc., which do nothing to educate anyone.
hmmmmmm

Hatch, NM

#7 Feb 15, 2011
Parents need to look at their own children's learning and determine FOR THEMSELVES how their children's schools are performing. If you seriously think ALL teachers at ONE school are ALL bad OR good, you need to look again. Sometimes schools are failing because the STUDENTS are failing.
Michael L Hays

Las Cruces, NM

#8 Feb 15, 2011
I have to add to my previous note (#6). When Fischmann admits that "It's dead wrong to teach to a test, but we have to have some metric," he is admitting that measuring education is more important than education, that education is thus defined by the test, and--here's the kicker to give an estimate of Fischmann's moral allegiance--and that what is "dead wrong" is more important that what is right. I appreciate Fischmann's honesty.
counterstrike

Albuquerque, NM

#9 Feb 15, 2011
M. Hays wrote "In particular, Fischmann believes that science and history must be sacrificed for reading and math in order to boost test scores. Has he ever asked whether the quest of higher test scores inspires students to learn? Has he ever considered that an over-emphasis on skills and an under-emphasis on information about the real world are a prescription for boredom and mediocrity?"

Well Mr Hays, if you do not have a strong grasp of reading and math skills, your comprehension of science and history is crippled. Maybe that is the reason so many students suffer from boredom and mediocrity. I suggest your political grandstanding continues to be boring, and unhelpful.
Talented Teacher

Las Cruces, NM

#10 Feb 15, 2011
If Teachers were permitted to use their discretion on "how" to teach as opposed to some formula mandated by the "government" or by a "uniform test" then the grade system would make sense. However, teachers appear to be boxed into a certain teaching style in order to meet the required curriculm created simply for the students ability to take a mandated test that "measures" the success of the students as well as the teacher. Kick all of the low life students that are not there to learn out of each school, and the performance of each school will advance. Teachers are too bogged down with "babysitting" future gang bangers or future teenage pregnant mall walkers as opposed to foucusing solely on teaching for a grade.
leonard

Las Cruces, NM

#11 Feb 15, 2011
Is China doing the right thing. As long as you can breath you can get by
Michael L Hays

Las Cruces, NM

#12 Feb 15, 2011
counterstrike wrote:
M. Hays wrote "In particular, Fischmann believes that science and history must be sacrificed for reading and math in order to boost test scores. Has he ever asked whether the quest of higher test scores inspires students to learn? Has he ever considered that an over-emphasis on skills and an under-emphasis on information about the real world are a prescription for boredom and mediocrity?"
Well Mr Hays, if you do not have a strong grasp of reading and math skills, your comprehension of science and history is crippled. Maybe that is the reason so many students suffer from boredom and mediocrity. I suggest your political grandstanding continues to be boring, and unhelpful.
First, I am not a political grandstander since I am not doing politics. Name-callers like yourself are grandstanders. Second, I know better than you that reading and math are required for history and science. I also know that those skills must be assured by the time students leave fourth grade. After that, those skills have to be put to use in history and science as well as reading and math. Third, anyone who thinks that basic reading and math skills need to be taught at the high school level does not understand that the game is virtually over. The problem arises in the elementary schools and must be dealt with there. An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure. Fourth, if you have been a regular reader of the Sun-News, you know that many of my columns address educational problems and offer educational solutions. When you get up to speed, get back to me. Meanwhile, stop grandstanding.
counterstrike

Albuquerque, NM

#13 Feb 15, 2011
Michael L Hays wrote:
<quoted text>
First, I am not a political grandstander since I am not doing politics. Name-callers like yourself are grandstanders. Second, I know better than you that reading and math are required for history and science. I also know that those skills must be assured by the time students leave fourth grade. After that, those skills have to be put to use in history and science as well as reading and math. Third, anyone who thinks that basic reading and math skills need to be taught at the high school level does not understand that the game is virtually over. The problem arises in the elementary schools and must be dealt with there. An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure. Fourth, if you have been a regular reader of the Sun-News, you know that many of my columns address educational problems and offer educational solutions. When you get up to speed, get back to me. Meanwhile, stop grandstanding.
I have read practically everything that you have had posted in the on-line Sun-News since your first posting. It all has the taint of "political grandstanding" and your "fixation" of hatred towards any and all that do not believe in the liberal/progressive view. I have been up to speed on "you" for some time, and as a matter of fact "you" are a distant speck in my rear-view mirror. You fool no one and you are an old fool.
Mark297

Hatch, NM

#14 Feb 15, 2011
I have no problem with giving schools letter grades. However, the whole process needs to change. For example, if a student is struggling and below grade level, they need to attend mandatory tutoring and summer school. With that said, the State will need to provide the funds for those programs. If students do not attend these extra services, there need s to be accountability system in place for both the parent and the student to answer for their failure to attend. This leads to my next point; schools should be given credit for improvement. Most schools will not reach the Orwellian goals set forth by No Child Left Behind. I can tell you from experience, that school and teachers are constantly thriving to improve the test scores at their respective schools. It is ridiculous to think that teachers don’t care or just want to earn a paycheck. In addition, it is equally ridiculous to think that teachers don’t have high expectations for their students. All of the talk by our politicians is simply window dressing for a system that needs a serious makeover!
Dave

Las Cruces, NM

#15 Feb 15, 2011
The kids (at least at the elementary level) are not held accountable for their performance. They can go in to the testing and not fill-out any of the questions and nothing happens to them, but the school and teacher are blamed for failing to teach. Assigning a letter grade to a school or teacher based upon a test taken by a student who has no vested interest in their actual performance is not the answer. If you are going to hold the school and teacher accountable, then hold the student accountable too.
Real problems

Las Cruces, NM

#16 Feb 15, 2011
Still waiting to see martinez' plan for the state economy
Singer

Las Cruces, NM

#17 Feb 15, 2011
I think it would be helpful if we did not try comparing New Mexico schools to schools in California or New York, let alone England or Mexico. It does little to no good to compare our schools to other states or countries. That being said we need to make sure schools in Southern New Mexico are compatible with schools in Northern New Mexico.

I also think that we need to rethink the school calender. A year round school calender would be very beneficial for the students and teachers, not to mention families. By taking a few small breaks, kids might be able to retain previously learned material, and not forget it during long breaks.

It isn't much, but I don't hear anyone offering any better suggestions.
Fred

Las Cruces, NM

#18 Feb 15, 2011
So the liberals think that we should grade the kids by the touchy-feely method. That is no measure of accomplishment and it fails to teach the reality of life (responsibility and achievement).
I've taught at one college and two universities. If we had gone with a system like that, we would have been graduating unqualified students to descend on the work place with substandard skills.
I've failed more than one student in my life. It woke them up to the reality of education. I would have been doing them a disservice if I hadn't.
directed

Albuquerque, NM

#19 Feb 15, 2011
Teachers were directed by the Super to not give F's this year and to accept late homework no matter how late. WTF
Jane Doe

Las Cruces, NM

#20 Feb 15, 2011
sincamisa wrote:
The problem is, that if graduation rates are used, schools will just pass students to gain the rate. Tie the school's grade to passing the final graduation testing that is in place now. I hope that is what they meant.
Oh, and forget this ridiculous "certificate of completion" they are handing out now. That just means you showed up basically.
NM education is in such miserable shape it is behind all neighboring states including Mexico. Parents here legally from Mexico have complained to me that while they are here, their children are forced to either be in a class where they have already studied the material, or be in a class with kids TWO years older. Yes we are two years behind Mexican schools.
Again, I am impressed with most the actions the Governor is taking.
What made it worse is not only the standard testing, but the 'No Child Left Behind' rule.
Aftershock

Muskegon, MI

#21 Feb 15, 2011
Everything has consequences. Giving a school an "F" will certainly affect the property values throughout that school's area. Prospective home buyers will know not to buy a house in an area where the schools have an "F." For sellers, you can expect to receive thousands of dollars less for your house, if not tens of thousands.

Once the government brands a school with a failing grade, then it means the government has determined "this school sucks."

So good luck selling your house in the future. Perhaps you can wait five or ten years for the school's rating to improve.

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