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Dozens of Teachers, Community Members Attend First Town Hall Forums
The teacher and community town hall meetings on testing, teacher evaluations and graduation requirements will be held five more times through October and early November.
About 75 teachers turned out to ask questions and get information about the new state teacher evaluation system during the first of six APS teacher town hall meetings Tuesday at Volcano Vista High School.
The next meeting will be at 4 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 3, in the West Mesa performing arts center.
“We are pleased that so many individuals are interested in the teacher evaluation system,” said Superintendent Winston Brooks. “We stand side by side with our teachers in support of them as we move through implementing this new system.”
The new teacher evaluation system mandated by the state Public Education Department this school year is a complicated system that measures teacher success through several means including multiple principal observations and student success on state-required exams.
Depending on what subject(s) are taught, the tests used to measure success could be the New Mexico Standards Based Assessment or one of two dozen end-of-course exams created by the state. If no subject test exists, teachers will be evaluated based on other measures available including the school grade given by the state.
Tested subjects at the elementary level include music, art and PE.
Tested subjects in middle school include Algebra I, social studies, science, art, PE and Spanish.
Tested subjects in high school include Algebra I and II, biology, chemistry, economics, reading, writing, computer applications, health education, integrated math, music, New Mexico history, Spanish, PE, U.S. government and world history.
There are no End of Course exams for seventh and eighth grade social studies and most high school electives. In addition, the only subjects tested in kindergarten through second grade are art, music and PE.
About a hundred parents and community members also attended a community forum to discuss the new testing requirements.
“We wanted to come straight to you, the parents and community members, about the new testing requirements that are tied to graduation,” APS Chief Academic Officer Shelly Green told the group. “There are many questions about this new system and we are here to get information out in as many ways as possible.”
Here is a list of the town hall meetings. Teachers are encouraged to attend the meeting for their cluster. All meetings are from 4-5:30 p.m. and will be followed by community meetings on testing at 6:30 p.m.