In a unanimous vote of the quorum of members in attendance at their November 14 regular session, the Truth or Consequences District Schools Board approved two resolutions, which directly responded to the New Mexico Public Education Department’s (PED) latest mandated requirements for high school graduation, student testing and teacher evaluations.
The initial action, a “resolution of concern,” emphasized the board’s belief that school districts require a level of autonomy, which would allow district officials to both identify issues within the community of students they serve and to implement effective policies to best benefit these unique populations.
The measure further stressed that the board maintained “grave” concerns about the PED’s directives and held the belief that local educators possess the desire, expertise and experience necessary to best meet the needs of T-or-C District students.
The second resolution directly questioned the PED’s mandates regarding high school graduation requirements. Board members asserted the T-or-C District’s intention of utilizing an existing state statute (NM 22-13-1.1), which allows for the use of a “standards-based portfolio” as a means of determining if a student has successfully completed educational requirements, in a manner sufficient to earn their diploma.
In recent weeks, teachers’ union members across the state have begun organizing public events and gathering support in opposition to the PED’s mandates, which they feel not only steals important class-time away from students, but unfairly grades teachers by focusing solely on standardized test results.
During her report, District NEA (National Education Association) representative Barbara Pearlman shared a formal statement of support for the aforementioned resolutions, which was unanimously…