Lawmaker proposes testing opt-out

Dec 6, 2013 Full story: KOB-TV New Mexico 10

A state lawmaker plans to introduce a bill into the next New Mexico Legislative Session that would allow parents or school districts to opt of state-mandated standardized tests that are intended to evaluate teachers' performance.

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“US Navy”

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#1 Dec 6, 2013
How many of those students will be literate enough to fill out the required paperwork to opt out?

Come on Keller, if you've a better idea on how to raise our level of education in NM, lets hear it.
First

Santa Fe, NM

#2 Dec 6, 2013
appoint a secretary who meets the minimum qualifications specified in the law and who is not a lobbyist for skimming more of taxpayer money for public education into private ventures.

Second - respect and empower teachers and principals. Pay them properly, too.

Third - use regular testing to measure individual student progress and allocate resources to address strengths and weaknesses. Tests are not an end in themselves or to be used to beat up students or their teachers.

Fourth - Year round schools, with remedial and enrichment after-school programs with college students as mentor teachers.

Start there.

“US Navy”

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#3 Dec 6, 2013
First wrote:
appoint a secretary who meets the minimum qualifications specified in the law and who is not a lobbyist for skimming more of taxpayer money for public education into private ventures.
Second - respect and empower teachers and principals. Pay them properly, too.
Third - use regular testing to measure individual student progress and allocate resources to address strengths and weaknesses. Tests are not an end in themselves or to be used to beat up students or their teachers.
Fourth - Year round schools, with remedial and enrichment after-school programs with college students as mentor teachers.
Start there.
1- an excuse to deflect from the issue overall.
2- the response of the last 50 years, need more money.
3&4 both have merit, send those ideas to your legislator so Keller and company will have some direction. They're they ones with the stranglehold on our kids education, not Skandara, Martinez or even Richardson.

Repeating a grade sucks but its even worse when you are in the workforce and can't read adequately or do simple math to maintain employment. We've had enough excuses, its time for some results.
nope

Santa Fe, NM

#4 Dec 6, 2013
CornDogz wrote:
<quoted text>
1- an excuse to deflect from the issue overall.
2- the response of the last 50 years, need more money.
3&4 both have merit, send those ideas to your legislator so Keller and company will have some direction. They're they ones with the stranglehold on our kids education, not Skandara, Martinez or even Richardson.
Repeating a grade sucks but its even worse when you are in the workforce and can't read adequately or do simple math to maintain employment. We've had enough excuses, its time for some results.
1 - the crux of the current stalemate - you can't expect leadership from someone who does not know what they are doing and who does not really believe in the mission of the agency which is PUBLIC education, open to all.

2 - respect and empowerment costs nothing and is more important than money, but investment in good people is necessary to show our priorities.

“US Navy”

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#5 Dec 6, 2013
nope wrote:
<quoted text>
1 - the crux of the current stalemate - you can't expect leadership from someone who does not know what they are doing and who does not really believe in the mission of the agency which is PUBLIC education, open to all.
2 - respect and empowerment costs nothing and is more important than money, but investment in good people is necessary to show our priorities.
1- like Linda Lopez has a clue of what NM needs or doesn't. She's the reason the confirmation hearing has not taken place in 3 years. Now that idi0t is running for Governor.

2- agreed that there are more important things than throwing more money into a failing system, so lets not do that and find a real and workable solution. Many don't like Skandara's approach (I'm not totally convinced but...) but not one of them has an alternative solution, none of them. Our legislature is saturated by opinionated critics who only know how to say "No!" and few if any ever have solutions, certainly none so far. The last 50+ years are a perfect example with regard to education in NM.

I won't go into the drivers license fiasco but you get my drift, and I'm not misdirecting, just citing a large general example of legislative stupidity that IMO parallels our education problem here.

“US Navy”

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#6 Dec 6, 2013
Let me add, if Skandara is so unqualified, why is it Governor hopeful Linda Lopez has intentionally REFUSED to allow a vote on her confirmation? Supposedly she will this year, year 4, but why now, what's to gain at this point? What is she so scared of she wouldn't allow a confirmation vote on the floor?
MaltaMon

Sewell, NJ

#9 Dec 7, 2013
phil wrote:
Nudity was ok when I was growing up, my sister and I were naked most of the time during the summer months, my mom would go topless as well. We had a secluded back yard with a pool, skinny dipping and sun bathing were normal. During the summer my sister would have two or three of her girl friends over and they would sunbathe topless or naked, they were alittle shy at first but when I would join them naked for a swim the suits slowly came off. I think I was the only naked guy they had seen at that point. And for me it was cool to see other naked teenage girls other than my sister.
Golly gee. I wonder who could have written this under Phil's name. Pedo Bob, grow the hell up, at long last.
You are

Pasadena, CA

#10 Dec 7, 2013
CornDogz wrote:
<quoted text>

.
misdirecting. I don't know who linda lopez is and she and any heartburn you have about drivers licenses are not the subject of the article.

From the state constitution:

No person shall be eligible to any office specified in Section One, hereof, unless he be a citizen of the United States, at
least thirty years of age, nor unless he shall have resided continuously in New Mexico for five years next preceding his election;nor to the office of attorney general, unless
he be a licensed attorney of the supreme court of New Mexico in good standing; nor to the office of superintendent of public instruction unless he be a trained and experienced educator.

E-mails link Bush foundation, corporations and education officials

By Valerie Strauss

A nonprofit group released thousands of e-mails today and said they show how a foundation begun by Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor and national education reform leader, is working with public officials in states to write education laws that could benefit some of its corporate funders. A call to the foundation has not been returned.

The e-mails are between the Foundation for Excellence in Education (FEE) and a group Bush set up called Chiefs for Change, whose members are current and former state education commissioners who support Bush’s agenda of school reform, which includes school choice, online education, retention of third-graders who can’t read and school accountability systems based on standardized tests. That includes evaluating teachers based on student test scores and grading schools A-F based on test scores. John White of Louisiana is a current member, as is Tony Bennett, the new commissioner of Florida who got the job after Indiana voters rejected his Bush-style reforms last November and tossed him out of office.

Donald Cohen, chair of the nonprofit In the Public Interest, a resource center on privatization and responsible for contracting in the public sector, said the e-mails show how education companies that have been known to contribute to the foundation are using the organization “to move an education agenda that may or not be in our interests but are in theirs.”

He said companies ask the foundation to help state officials pass laws and regulations that make it easier to expand charter schools, require students to take online education courses, and do other things that could result in business and profits for them. The e-mails show, Cohen said, that Bush’s foundation would often do this with the help of Chiefs for Change and other affiliated groups.

The e-mails were obtained by Cohen’s group through public record requests and are available here, complete with a search function. They reveal — conclusively, he said — that foundation staff members worked to promote the interests of some of their funders in Florida, New Mexico, Maine, Oklahoma, Rhode Island and Louisiana.

The Web site of the Foundation for Excellence in Education used to list some of their donors but no longer does and is not required to list all of its donors to the public under tax rules for 5013C organizations. However, it is known that the foundation has received support from for-profit companies K12 and Pearson and Amplify, as well as the nonprofit College Board.

There are strong connections between FEE and the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), according to the nonprofit Center for Media and Democracy.

And

Pasadena, CA

#11 Dec 7, 2013
Aptly named FEE, Bush’s group is backed by many of the same for-profit school corporations that have funded ALEC and vote as equals with its legislators on templates to change laws governing America’s public schools. FEE is also bankrolled by many of the same hard-right foundations bent on privatizing public schools that have funded ALEC. And, they have pushed many of the same changes to the law, which benefit their corporate benefactors and satisfy the free market fundamentalism of the billionaires whose tax-deductible charities underwrite the agenda of these two groups. FEE and ALEC also have had some of the same “experts” as members or staff, part of the revolving door between right-wing groups. They have also collaborated on the annual ALEC education “report card” that grades states’ allegiance to their policy agenda higher than actual student performance. That distorted report card also rewards states that push ALEC’s beloved union-busting measures while giving low grades to states with students who actually perform best on standardized knowledge tests.

Here is some of what the e-mails released today by Clark’s group say, taken from the Web site of In the Public Interest:

* In New Mexico, FEE acted as a broker to organize meetings between their corporate donors and individual Chiefs.

New Mexico

• FEE provides its donors — including for-profit digital education companies — access to the chiefs. A draft agenda for the Excellence in Action 2011 Summit blocked off two hours for “Chiefs for Change donor meetings.” Another draft agenda for the meeting allocated nearly three hours to “Chiefs for Change donor meetings.” The donors for the summit were the Walton Family Foundation, the Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation, the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, the Broad Foundation, the Carnegie Corp., Susan and Bill Oberndorf, GlobalScholar, Target, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Microsoft, State Farm, IQity, McGraw-Hill Education, Doris and Donald Fisher Fund, Intel, Pearson Foundation, Apex Learning, ETS, Electronic Arts, Koret Foundation, SMART Technologies, K12, Morgridge Family Foundation, Charter Schools USA and Connections Academy. Demand for donor time was so high that Patricia Levesque wrote that she had to turn down opportunities for the chiefs to meet other representatives from companies.



• FEE staff served as advisers to acting education commissioner Hanna Skandera. FEE, and, by extension, its donors, had great influence over New Mexico legislation. In a Jan., 2011, e-mail, Skandera directs a staffer from the legislature to forward all education bills to FEE’s Christy Hovanetz for edits:“Can you send all Governor’s office ed bill language to Christy, including social promotion?” Another FEE staffer, Mary Laura Bragg, wrote to Skandera,“I’m at your beck and call.”



• The foundation sought to make connections between Skandera (as well as the other Chiefs for Change) and the Hume Foundation for funds for digital learning projects from Hume that “must flow through the Foundation for Excellence in Education as a project-restricted grant.” The Santa Fe New Mexican reported Oct. 21 that Skandera had indeed applied for such a grant, which ultimately could lead to digital learning legislation favorable to FEE funders Connections Academy and K-12 Inc.



• The e-mails indicate that FEE paid for Skandera’s travel, reimbursing New Mexico $3382.91 for her expenses, including trip to Washington, D.C., to testify before Congress.
Janice Upton

New York, NY

#12 Dec 30, 2013
One problem with all of this testing is that when administrators jobs hinge on scores, cheating occurs. Then schools are tempted to change incorrect answers to correct answers so students appear to do better.

In some cases, graduation rates affect a school's rating and subsequently how a principal's job performance is rated. This may have been the case at Fort Hamilton High School in Brooklyn, NY. There is serious and well founded suspicion that this may also have occurred at another Brooklyn high school, John Dewey High School. Preparations are underway to investigate whether or not the school's principal, Kathleen Elvin, had administrators change grades in order to improve graduation rates.

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