Day 2: Governor’s Misguided Approach on Education would do Irreparable Harm to Our Children

The Governor’s initiatives of “Mandatory Flunking” as well as the reliance on the PARCC exam would cause severe damage not only to our children, but to our schools as well

Today, as part of the Democrat Party’s five-day series on how the Governor’s political and divisive agenda has hurt New Mexicans – we focus on her misguided education policies. While The Governor’s attempts to destroy labor unions may have been at the top of her agenda, next on the list was her attempt to implement a mandatory flunking policy of any 3rd grader who didn’t meet certain reading standards. By failing these students and holding them back, we would be doing tremendous harm to the student’s psyche not to mention creating an unmanageable logjam in our 3rd grade classes around the state.

While Governor Martinez is focused on failing our 3rd graders and not getting them the help they need, she is also using arbitrary standardized tests (like the PARCC exam) to grade the effectiveness of our teachers and schools. The PARCC assessment is a tool that is being used by this administration to punish schools and teachers. At the same time, it is doing very little to help our students and their academic needs. Currently, PARCC and other standardized tests comprise of at least 50% of our teacher’s evaluations and 90% of our school’s grades. With that much emphasis placed on these standardized tests, teachers are forced to “teach to the test” instead of adequately preparing students for academic challenges in the future. Schools must develop curriculum based on standardized tests knowing that if they fail, their school could be shut down.

“The Governor has taken an approach towards education that fails to prepare our students for the future,” said DPNM Chairman Sam Bregman. “This administration is more focused on putting our children into academic boxes and not addressing their individual needs. Governor Martinez is obsessed with awarding lucrative contracts to out of state testing firms than she is with truly educating our children. The policies that the Governor is trying to implement would do severe damage to our children, our educators, our schools and our families.”

Democrats in the Senate were able to defeat the mandatory flunking measure in committee, ensuring that students don’t have to live in fear of social stigma.

Governor Martinez so far has refused to take the PARCC exam herself.