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New Mexico Governor scraps state's testing system

Teachers will no longer be evaluated under test

Testing system in New Mexico scrapped

New Mexico -
  Changes are coming to the way public school students are tested in New Mexico.

  Thursday, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed two executive orders scrapping the state's current test, the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, also known as the PARCC test.

  Governor Lujan Grisham said the change will lead to far more teaching and far less testing.

   The executive orders also mean that the PARCC test will no longer be used to evaluate teacher performances, which was a controversial policy under former New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez.

   Opponents of the PARCC test argued that teacher evaluations weighed too much on the PARCC test.

   Del Hansen has been an educator in Las Cruces for more than 40 years.

   He recalled the problems he noticed with the PARCC test when it was first implemented.

  "We were expected to change for the test," Hansen said. "More and more teachers began teaching the test and I thought that was very restrictive of curriculum. I was very much against that."

   Hansen said he was ecstatic when he heard the news that Gov. Lujan Grisham scrapped the PARCC test.

  Hansen believes the move will ultimately help in the evaluation process of New Mexico teachers.

 "There are lots of ways to evaluate teachers besides scores of students on a PARCC test, so I don't think it will make any difference at all," Hansen said. "I thought the PARCC test was a highly inappropriate way to evaluate teachers in the first place."

   But not everyone agrees with Governor Lujan Grisham's decision to end the PARCC test.

   Chris Ruszkowski served as New Mexico's Public Education Secretary under former New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez.

   Ruszkowski believes some of the problems the state could face will be the cost to taxpayers in establishing a new test and the impact to students in their preparation for this school year's standardized test.

   "What I heard in visiting all 89 of our school districts, in visiting hundreds of schools, is that our teachers, and our parents and our families want some degree of stability and continuity," Ruszkowski said. "Today's announcement has the potential to create chaos and uncertainty."

     In March, New Mexico students will most likely have to take some components of the PARCC test while the governor's team works with federal officials to implement a new evaluation system for students.

     Thursday, Governor Lujan Grisham also announced that Lieutenant Governor Howie Morales will assume the duties and responsibilities of the Secretary of  Public Education until a permanent secretary is named.


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