NM’s Public Education Department And Failing Schools | The Line


>>HAS THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF
EDUCATION OVERSTEPPED ITS AUTHORITY IN WORKING WITH NEW
MEXICO’S MOST TROUBLED SCHOOLS? THAT IS THE QUESTION THE
BIPARTISAN LEGISLATIVE EDUCATION STUDY COMMITTEE IS
NOW ASKING. AT ISSUE ARE FOUR ELEMENTARY
SCHOOLS, THREE HERE IN ALBUQUERQUE, THAT HAVE
RECEIVED F GRADES FOR THE LAST FIVE TO SIX YEARS. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
OFFICIALS SAY THEY HAVE THE RIGHT TO INTERVENE IN THOSE
SCHOOLS’ OPERATIONS BASED ON THE FEDERAL EVERY SCHOOL
SUCCEEDS ACT PASSED BY PRESIDENT OBAMA IN 2015 BUT
THE LESC SAYS THE STATE STATUTE IS NOT CLEAR ABOUT
WHETHER OR NOT THE PED CAN HAVE FINAL SAY ON ANY
INTERVENTION PLANS. MARY, AND THIS IS VERY
INTERESTING BECAUSE VERY SPECIFICALLY TO APS, A LOT OF
BACK AND FORTH OVER THE PAST COUPLE OF MONTHS ABOUT THESE
THREE SCHOOLS. EDUCATION DEPARTMENT TAKES A
PRETTY HARD LINE. MS. REEDY, THE NEW APS
SUPERINTENDENT, SAYING, LOOK, WE ARE WORKING HERE,
SUBMITTING THINGS ON TIME. WHERE ARE WE NOW ON THIS ON
YOUR READ? ARE WE GOING TO HAVE
RESOLUTION HERE?>>I DON’T KNOW, MAYBE. I THINK WHERE ARE WE NOW, WE
HAVE A LOT OF QUESTIONS IN THE AIR BECAUSE WE ARE COMING TO
THE END OF THE MARTINEZ ADMINISTRATION. SO ESTABLISHING A PLAN,
FOLLOWING IT THROUGH INTO THE NEXT — INTO 2019, THE CURRENT
EDUCATION SECRETARY, I MEAN, WHO KNOWS, BUT AT LEAST I
WOULD EXPECT RIGHT NOW MAY NOT BE AROUND DEPENDING ON THE
NEXT ADMINISTRATION AND ALSO, EVEN GETTING DOWN TO THE F
GRADE, ISN’T THAT IN QUESTION IN THE GOVERNOR’S RACE? WHO IS IN FAVOR OF THAT SORT
OF GRADING SYSTEM OF THE SCHOOLS. TO ME A LOT OF QUESTIONS.>>ONE OF THE BIG QUESTIONS IS
WHO HAS FINAL SAY. IS IT LOCAL SCHOOLS? THERE IS A LOT OF ISSUES OUT
THERE THAT SEEMS LIKE A BLOCK TO PLAY WELL TOGETHER, IF YOU
THINK ABOUT IT.>>IT STRIKES ME, FIRST OF ALL
STRIKES ME AS SOMETHING THAT PROBABLY REALLY DOES NEED TO
BE CLARIFIED BY THE LEGISLATURE AND BY THE TIME
THAT HAPPENS, WE ARE GOING TO HAVE A NEW ADMINISTRATION. SO, WILL THERE BE AN ATTEMPT
TO RUN OUT THE CLOCK, I SUSPECT SO.>>TOM, THE IDEA THAT THESE
POWER STRUGGLES, KIDS LOSE AT THE END OF THE DAY, SEEMS TO
ME. WE HAVE THREE FAILING SCHOOLS
AND PED SAID, LOOK, WE CAN DO A LOT OF THINGS HERE BUT THE
FIRST THING I WANT TO TALK ABOUT IS REPLACE THE
PRINCIPAL. I HAVE BEEN A ROUND A LOT OF
EDUCATORS, THEY WILL TELL YOU JUST REPLACING THE PERSON AT
THE TOP OF IT, THAT DOESN’T FIX A SCHOOL NECESSARILY. WHERE ARE THEY COMING FROM ON
THE PRINCIPAL THING, SEEMS LIKE A NO WIN THERE.>>IT IS A SCAPEGOAT IS WHAT
IT IS. YES, APS HAS REPLACED ALL THE
PRINCIPALS. THAT IS CHECKING A BOX. THERE IS A LARGER COMMUNITY
ISSUE THAT GOES BEYOND THE PRINCIPAL. THE PRINCIPAL IS A LEADER AND
IT IS A SMALL BUSINESS, ABOUT A THREE MILLION BUDGET, SO IT
IS UP TO THEM TO KIND OF CHANGE THE TONE BUT, YOU KNOW,
TO SAY IT IS THE PRINCIPALS, IT IS THE TEACHERS, YOU KNOW,
PERHAPS SHOULD BE MOVED. YOU HAVE A LOT OF DIFFERENT
OPTIONS AVAILABLE BUT FOR SOME REASON PRINCIPALS IS THE
EASIEST ONE, BECAUSE IT IS THE ONE PERSON THAT IS NOT
PROTECTED BY THE UNION. BUT NOT TO MAKE IT A UNION
CONVERSATION, BUT TO YOUR CONVERSATION EARLIER ABOUT WHO
HAS FINAL SAY, I THINK PED HAS THE HAMMER AND THEY ARE THE
ONES WITH FINAL SAY, BECAUSE THEY ARE THE ONES IN CHARGE. NOW THAT COULD CHANGE AND
PROBABLY WILL CHANGE MANY MONTHS FROM NOW, BUT, THERE IS
SO MANY DIFFERENT THINGS ABOUT THIS. THESE ISSUES AT ALL SCHOOLS
DID NOT HAPPEN OVERNIGHT. IT WASN’T LIKE ALL OF A SUDDEN
DECEMBER IS LIKE, OH MY GOSH, WE HAVE AN F GRADE OR WHATEVER
THE MEASUREMENT STICK IS. IT HAS — IT IS NOT WORKING. AND YOU JUST CAN’T —
>>FIVE OR SIX YEARS IS A LONG TIME.>>IT IS. WHAT APS HAS TRIED ISN’T
WORKING. WHY NOT GIVE WHAT PED IS
SUGGESTING A TRY. WHAT APS HAS TRIED TO DO IN
FIXING THE ISSUE HASN’T WORKED.>>HOW DO YOU READ THIS ZACK? IN THIS TENSION BETWEEN PED
AND APS, WHO HAS UPPER HAND HERE?>>JUST TO GO FROM TOM’S POINT
HERE, YOU KNOW, PED DOES HAVE THE HAMMER AND SPEAKING OF
CHECKED BOXES, TEACHER EVALUATIONS COMPLETELY UNFAIR
IN THE STATE AND THE WAY WE ARE TESTING TO STUDENTS AND
HOLDING TEACHERS TO TESTING STUDENTS IS UNFAIR, BUT THE
MAIN POINT IS I THINK THE PED HAS TO ABIDE BY FEDERAL LAW. WE HAVE WHAT I BELIEVE IS
CALLED EVERY STUDENT SUCCEED ACT. IT HAS CLEAR GUIDELINES, AND
LEGISLATURE SHOULD REFERENCE THIS AND BE ABLE TO BUILD IT
OUT TO THE LEVEL IT NEEDS TO BE INTERPRETED TO.>>MARY, I WANT TO READ THE
FOUR THINGS PED SAYS THEY HAVE IN THERE TOOL BOX. THEY CAN CLOSE A SCHOOL. THEY CAN RESTART IT AS A
CHARTER SCHOOL. THEY CAN CHAMPION AND PROVIDE
CHOICE AND RESTRUCTURE IN DESIGN OR THE PRINCIPAL THING. THERE IS A LOT OF THINGS THEY
ARE GIVING WIGGLE ROOM FOR THE SCHOOLS TO DO. THEY ARE SAYING, WE CHOOSE TO
DO REDESIGN AND RESTRUCTURE, GIVE US SOME TIME. YOU CAN’T TURN AROUND
SOMETHING THAT HAS BEEN FAILING FIVE OR SIX YEARS IN A
ROW. IS THAT FAIR FOR MS. REEDY TO
LOOK FOR MORE TIME HERE?>>I THINK IT IS EXPECTED THAT
SHE WOULD TRY TO DO THAT ESPECIALLY SOMETIMES THERE ARE
MANY COMPLEX REASONS WHY A SCHOOL MIGHT GET AN F GRADE. BEYOND THE CLASSROOM. SO, I THINK WHEN YOU START TO
LOOK AT KIND OF MORE INTEGRAL PROBLEMS OR SOCIAL ISSUES THAT
ARE AT PLAY, THEN, YES, SHE IS SOMEONE WHOSE POSITION IS
CERTAINLY GOING TO WANT THAT EXTRA TIME. NOW WE ARE TALKING YEARS THAT
IT HAS BEEN DEALING WITH LOW SCORES.>>AGAIN, SANTA FE AND
COMPANY, THEY ARE NOT GOING TO BE HERE BUT YOU CANNOT BLAME
THEM FOR WANTING TO SEE THROUGH WHAT THEY WANT TO DO
WITH EDUCATION HERE. SO I ASK AGAIN, WITH THE CLOCK
RUNNING OUT, IS THERE TIME TO COMPROMISE HERE ON THIS THING?>>I THINK — THIS IS CYNICAL
BUT I THINK THAT GIVEN THE CLOCK, IT MAY NOT BE — MAYBE
ONE OR MORE SIDES THINKS WE DON’T HAVE TO, IF WE CAN KEEP
THINGS MOVING ALONG, WE CAN OBSTRUCT. I DON’T MEAN TO SAY THAT I
THINK APD — APS, THANK YOU — IS WRONG OR IS TAKING AN
INCORRECT TACT, IT SEEMS TO ME, THOUGH, THAT LOOKING AT
THAT LIST, SOME OF THE ELEMENTS ON THAT LIST, GOING
TO A CHARTER SCHOOL, CLOSING THE SCHOOL, WE’RE TALKING
ABOUT REARRANGING THE DECK CHAIRS HERE. THE ONLY ONE THAT STRIKES ME
AS BEING PROACTIVE AS REALLY INVOLVING AN ATTEMPT TO FIX
EDUCATION WITHIN THAT COMMUNITY AND THAT CENTER IS
THE ONE THAT APS IS ATTEMPTING TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF.
AND, TO SAY IT HAS TO HAPPEN LIKE THIS, I THINK, WHEN I
READ THAT AS SIMPLISTIC, BUT I THINK IT IS TOO FAST. IT IS EXPECTED BUT I ALSO
THINK, YEAH, IT IS EXPECTED. IT SHOULD TAKE A LITTLE TIME.>>TOM, YOU MENTIONED WE WERE
TALKING EARLIER, LOS PADILLAS AND WHITTIER, TWO OF THE
SCHOOLS I MENTIONED. INTERESTING NOTE I THOUGHT WAS
INTERESTING, PED PREVIOUSLY REQUIRED THAT WHITTIER AND LOS
PADILLAS BE RATED HIGHLY EFFECTIVE OR EXEMPLARY. THEY BACKED OFF OF THAT WHEN
THEY REALIZED THAT IS NOT GOING TO SOLVE IT. WASN’T THAT THE BIG THING IN
THE EDUCATION THING ALL ALONG, TEACHERS WEREN’T DESIGNATED AT
EXEMPLARY OR BETTER, EVERYTHING WAS GOING TO TURN
AROUND BUT IT DIDN’T. WHERE DOES IT PUT THIS IDEA
ABOUT EDUCATION REFORM AND HOW THEY DO THIS WHOLE THING.>>IT PLACES THE FOLKS ON
EDUCATION REFORM AS NOT JUST ABOUT TEACHERS AND PRINCIPALS
BUT ABOUT THE COMMUNITY AND HOW COMMUNITIES RESPOND TO
HELPING, YOU KNOW, THE SCHOOLS BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY THE
STUDENTS SUCCEED. YOU KNOW, WHAT I ENJOY ABOUT
ALBUQUERQUE IS THAT YOU HAVE ALL THESE UNIQUE COMMUNITIES
THAT YOU JUST CAN’T GO IN WITH A READY MADE SOLUTION. THE READING PROGRAMS AT DESERT
RIDGE WORK, SO, THEREFORE THEY WORK AT POLK AND YOU CAN’T DO
THAT. THEY ARE VERY DIFFERENT
COMMUNITIES AND I THINK THERE HAS TO BE SOME FLEXIBILITY AND
I THINK THAT IS ONE OF THE LACK OF FLEXIBILITY IS ONE OF
THE THINGS THAT PED HAS BEEN CRITICIZED ON, BUT AT THE SAME
POINT IN TIME YOU HAVE TO HAVE A STANDARD THAT EVERYBODY IS
GOING TO GET ANGRY WITH BUT YOU HAVE TO HAVE SOMETHING TO
MEASURE EVERYBODY BY.>>GOOD POINT. CURIOUS WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT
THIS AS WELL, THE IDEA THAT EVALUATING TEACHERS YOU NEED
MORE THAN JUST TEST SCORES, WE HAD THIS ARGUMENT HERE FOR A
LONG TIME. WE HAVE PEOPLE RUNNING FOR
GOVERNOR ON BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE, I MIGHT ADD, SAYING
TEACHER EVALUATIONS MAY NOT BE THE BEST WAY TO GO. DO YOU SEE THIS AS A CRACK
HERE? IS SOMETHING CHANGING IN THE
DIALOGUE OF EDUCATION HERE WITH THIS LITTLE DUST UP WE
HAVE GOING?>>IT SEEMS LIKE IT IS
SHIFTING A LITTLE BIT BUT I AGREE WITH WHAT TOM IS SAYING,
THERE IS CULTURAL DYNAMICS NOT FACTORED INTO PED. SCHOOL DISTRICT IS DIFFERENT. I WAS RAISED IN LAS CRUCES AND
THE SCHOOL DISTRICT HERE IS A DIFFERENT UNIVERSE. I THINK THE KELLER
ADMINISTRATION MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN WORKING CLOSELY
WITH PED AND WORK WITH COMMUNITY LEADERS AND ADDRESS
SOME OF THE SYSTEMIC ISSUES WHICH DRIVES SOME OF THE
SCHOOLS’ FAILURE. IT COMES DOWN TO THE MODEL AND
THE SYSTEMS. IF YOU TRY TO SUBSCRIBE TO A
FAILING MODEL AND YOU’RE WONDERING WHY NOBODY CAN MEET
IT, IT IS KIND OF WEIRD BUT IT IS CHANGING THE POLITICAL
DISCOURSE AND IT IS SURPRISING TO —
>>ARE YOU SURPRISED ONE OF THE IDEAS IS TO TURN IT INTO A
CHARTER SCHOOL?>>YES.>>DOES THAT HELP ANYTHING IN
THIS WORLD.>>IN NO WAY DOES IT HELP.>>I AM NOT SURPRISED ONLY I
THINK THAT IS SOMETHING THAT MARTINEZ ADMINISTRATION
ADVOCATES.>>A LOT OF FOLKS ARE SAYING
IT IS A BIT OF A TROJAN HORSE. THEY WANT TO HAVE THEM FLIP
INTO CHARTER SCHOOLS AND THIS IS A WAY TO DO IT.>>IT IS NOT THE MAGIC, TA DA,
IT’S A CHARTER SCHOOL, NOW IT WILL SUCCEED. IT IS ASKING FOR A DIFFERENT,
ADDITIONAL SET PROBLEMS.>>THERE ARE INDEPENDENT
CHARTER SCHOOLS AND APS CHARTER SCHOOLS AND IT JUST
PROVIDES MORE LATITUDE TO MAKE DIFFERENCES OR CHANGES THAT
THE DISTRICT OR THE PRINCIPAL WANTS TO MAKE.>>WE MUST APOLOGIZE TO PED
FOR CALLING THEM APS AND VICE VERSA. I DO IT ALL THE TIME. THAT IS ALL THE TIME WE HAVE. YOU DID A GREAT JOB GUYS. THANK YOU FOR JOINING US. IF YOU WANT TO SHARE YOUR
REACTION TO THIS WEEK’S TOPICS GET IN TOUCH WITH US HERE AT
NEWMEXICOINFOCUS.ORG.

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