Remember When Skandera/PED Said It Was All The Districts’ Fault?

Fascinating story in today’s New Mexican on Public Education Designate Secretary-Designate Hanna Skandera at the LESC hearing yesterday.  Two excerpts:

“Do we have room for improvement, particularly on the implementation side? Absolutely,” Skandera said.

Skandera presented a list of remedies to address other problems with the evaluation system, including assigning a departmental liaison to every one of the state’s 89 districts and nearly 100 charter schools to ensure better communication and data collection; increased training on how the system works; use of a database educators could access to ensure their own information is correct; and the creation of a pilot program in Albuquerque Public Schools to better evaluate special education teachers.

Oh, Ms. Skandera, so we should have just ignored that whole line of bull that it was all the Districts’ fault for providing lousy information?  Point taken that we should never, ever believe anything you and your staff say, again.

Which does raise the slight conundrum for teachers/administrators of having to “trust” you/PED in terms of this year’s VAM/evaluation scores.  Let’s see, consider a single piece of paper with unexplained numbers from an admittedly flawed process as “fact,” or throw evaluation into garbage based on infallible evidence that you just make shit up?

Hold on…I’m thinking over this one.  Hmmm…

Meanwhile, the continued debate over whether the statistical garbage should count for 50% of a teacher’s evaluation or something less than 50% is, itself, a red herring.  We’re talking garbage here.  It’s now admitted garbage that Ms. Skandera says will be rectified by continuing to build the plane while it flies (or continues its flight plan directly into a rather large statistical mountain):

“We don’t intend to rewind. We intend to learn as we continue to move forward.”

Keep learning Ms. Skandera.  You’ll have a evaluation system we teachers can trust….uh, actually never.  Oh, one more thing.  Good luck with those lawsuits that will inevitably come if you ever try to fire a teacher while you and your staff learn.  Those should cost New Mexicans a good chunk of change.


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