KOB, 9/10/2018: “Republican candidate for governor, Steve Pearce, is accused of changing his position on how to handle teacher performance evaluations.
In a television ad, Pearce says he wants to fix the broken test system.
“My mom loved teaching. But now, Santa Fe asks teachers to be truant officers or social workers. Let our teachers teach, fix our broken test system and put more money into classrooms,” Pearce says in the ad.
Pearce recently gave a speech in Albuquerque on education.
“We will suspend the teacher evaluation system and bring all the stakeholders together to figure out how to hold teachers accountable. I haven’t heard any teachers say they shouldn’t be held accountable,” Pearce said.
Democrats said Pearce’s statements became inconsistent later in the speech.
“We may use almost exactly the same evaluation system. I see productivity and I see some teachers saying, ‘I used to push against this pretty hard, but now I’m seeing the positive aspects,’ so we end up with something very similar,” Pearce said.
James Clarke, the political director for the Republican Party of New Mexico, attempted to clarify Pearce’s position.
“Steve Pearce wants to day-1 suspend the existing evaluation system and what he is going to do is bring stakeholders from all across the education community, primarily teachers, rank and file teachers to develop some kind of metric that they are happy with,” Clark said.
The spokesperson for democratic candidate Michelle Lujan Grisham believes Pearce is offering more of the same.
“He’s considering keeping the PARCC evaluation system and the teacher evaluation. He says he wants to keep it almost exactly the same as Susana Martinez and Hanna Skandera.”
Santa Fe New Mexican, 9/1/2018: To PARCC or not to PARCC?
Pearce: He has said he is hesitant to do away with the controversial math and reading test because educators and students have become accustomed to it. “Any system you try is going to need a five-year implementation [to see if it’s working], so stability is a strong argument.” But he does not like the fact that it takes two to three months for the state to receive PARCC score results. “Get the results the next day,” he says. “And that’s a negotiation with the people who make the test.”
Pearce: He believes the evaluations wear down teacher morale and would hit a “reset” button — working with educators and administrators to review the system and possibly come up with another method. But he says the state “may end up with the same thing.” It’s a comment that has drawn a negative reaction from teachers union leaders.