APS Educators Can Teach NM PED A Lot About Planning
When you add up the comments from hundreds of ATF members and our colleagues’ statements from across the state, the PED’s collection of public input on their proposed changes is over 1,000 pages long. As far as we can tell, few, if any, were positive about the PED’s plan to unilaterally change high school graduation requirements, usurp the power of local school boards, and impose 180 school days contrary to a state law passed just months ago. Educators and community stakeholders voiced concerns that this rule is a false solution to New Mexico’s educational issues that masks deeper needs not being tackled such as behavior, truancy, inadequate buildings, ever-increasing class sizes, educator vacancies and more.
ATF President Dr. Ellen Bernstein was on hand in Santa Fe on December 18th to testify using your input. However, the PED disregarded its own need for planning just as they are showing a lack of respect for educators’ need for planning and collaboration time. The PED did not count on hundreds of concerned educators and community members showing up. They did not plan their time appropriately. Ellen had professional obligations back in Albuquerque so she couldn’t wait as the PED extended the public input time by hours.
The irony of the NM PED pointing their wagging fingers at our educators, in an attempt to shift blame onto our shoulders once again, cannot be overstated. Educators plan our lessons down to the minute. We know that we must use our time and students’ time wisely. We are accountable. Meanwhile, the PED’s lack of planning and public notice that the meeting time was extended into the evening felt as disrespectful as the rule we came to speak about. The hearing ran into the night. AFT NM President Whitney Holland spoke later in the afternoon. Her thoughts on this matter echo our own.
Add to this scenario the absence of NM Secretary of Education Arsenio Romero who was not in attendance to hear from the public.
No worries. Ellen’s comments are taped along with APS Board Members Barbara Petersen, Josie Dominguez, and Ronalda Tome-Warito. Our formal response as your representative can be read at atfunion.org.
We will continue to advocate on this issue in the capital. We believe this proposal is an overreach of the Executive Branch in their move to change an existing law.