Testing, Teachers at Center of Education Town Hall in Las Cruces
LAS CRUCES – Educators, parents, administrators, union heads and school employees met with policymakers Wednesday evening at an education town hall at Centennial High School, sponsored by the state and local chapters of the National Education Association, by the Classified School Employees Council, and featuring state Sen. William Soules. Soules, a recently retired lifelong educator, represents Las Cruces and serves as vice-chair of the Senate Education Committee.
The event was designed to be a forum to discuss education policies and issues facing teachers ahead of the 2016 legislative session, according to organizers.
“Especially before a legislative session, it’s important for us to touch base with our legislative leaders, and Bill is certainly one in the field of education that we are concerned with,” said Patrick Sanchez, president of NEA-Las Cruces. “It’s no secret that we’re not happy with the recent trend, since the governor assumed office. She and her secretary of education seem to be running a system that is counter to everything that we believe in.”
Soules fielded questions about right-to-work legislation, complaints about over-testing and concerns about NMTEACH, the Public Education Department’s controversial new teacher evaluation system.
“For New Mexico to succeed, it comes down to three things — education, the economy and jobs,” Soules told the crowd of about 75. “And the three are very closely related. Education is the core of our society and the heart of our democracy.”