Obama Administration supports NM education reforms

The hard left in New Mexico rallied to kill the elimination of social promotion in the special session. They also don’t much like our state’s new A-F grading system. They seem hell-bent on preserving our state’s 49th out of 50 status in education results (perhaps they can coach the Lobos football team).

Anyway, I found it interesting that the Obama Administration made statements in support of education reforms that the Martinez Administration has been pushing (and against what the hard left is doing).

Here are the relevant statements as taken from an Albuquerque Journal article that ran over the weekend:

Education Secretary Arne Duncan on 3rd grade social promotion, said “If your students keep being allowed to leave third grade and fourth grade without being able to read, you’re not doing them any favors.”

As the Journal noted, Duncan was particularly critical of New Mexico’s teacher evaluation system, citing the fact that 99.9 percent of teachers are considered satisfactory under the current system.

“That’s a broken system,” Duncan said.

He went on to say that such a nonspecific view of teacher effectiveness is not helpful for teachers of any ability level. He said the efforts of excellent teachers are not currently recognized, while average or ineffective teachers are not getting the support they need to improve.

“If the system isn’t working for any of the adults, the teachers, I promise it’s not working for your kids,” Duncan said.

The article further noted that Duncan outlined specific criteria states must meet, including holding students to high standards, creating accountability systems for schools and evaluating teachers based “significantly” on student growth.

The Education Secretary could not be more clear in stating that New Mexico’s hard left is becoming increasingly isolated in opposing needed reforms. While we at the Rio Grande Foundation certainly don’t agree with Obama’s Administration on much, perhaps they can talk sense to the hard left here in the Land of Enchantment.