In a shocking caught on camera moment, and demonstrating once again that he is desperately out of touch with New Mexico educators, students, and families, Steve Pearce told a group of leaders in education last week that, if elected, he would improve education by changing our teacher evaluation systems… to “almost exactly the same evaluation system,” as the Susana Martinez/Hanna Skandera system. Seriously. Just listen to Steve himself:
“Steve Pearce has doubled down on the failed Martinez education agenda, which has harmed our children and kept New Mexico in last place for the past eight years,” said Marg Elliston, Chair of the Democratic Party of New Mexico. “New Mexicans know Michelle Lujan Grisham will deliver real change for our children and reverse the damage Steve Pearce, Susana Martinez, and former Education Secretary Hanna Skandera have done by starving our public schools.”
Pearce went on to further demonstrate his tone-deafness, saying that teachers are “seeing the positive aspects” of a system that has devastated New Mexico education.
Pearce supports the unfair, unproductive Martinez/Skandera evaluation system has left us struggling to recruit and retain teachers, and continued to fail our kids…
- “Teachers who choose to work with students who are at-risk get punished more in their evaluation scores.”
- The system punishes teachers for taking sick days they’ve already earned. The New Mexican reported that teachers can be punished on the state evaluation for taking sick days even if they’ve already earned them.
- Leaving New Mexico “struggling to keep schools filled with teachers.” The New Mexican said in December that “more than 800 public school jobs remaining vacant, a more than 60 percent increase compared to last year’s vacancies.” This includes nearly 500 teaching positions.
- And would keep us at 50th in the nation in public education.
…and has not committed to support the real changes necessary to build stronger schools.
- Pearce repeatedly dodged the question when asked if he would appeal the landmark court decision on New Mexico underfunding education, and has not committed to increase funding. Michelle Lujan Grisham will not appeal the ruling and would work to provide the support at-risk students need.
- Pearce has never said he’d increase teacher pay. Michelle Lujan Grisham has committed to $40,000, $50,000, and $60,000 minimum salaries for tier I, II, and II teachers.
- And Pearce doesn’t think we can invest in early childhood education that has been proven to improve outcomes for kids and prepare them to learn. Michelle Lujan Grisham will invest in Pre-K for every New Mexico child.