New Mexico News Connection - A statewide news service for New Mexico
Albuquerque - New Mexico teachers are taking a working vacation this week to New Orleans, where the National Education Association's (NEA) annual representative assembly takes up a number of issues, including the controversial 'No Child Left Behind' law set to be reauthorized by Congress. Rewriting the rules that have left many New Mexico children behind in the last decade - that's at the top of the agenda at a national meeting of educators.
NEA New Mexico President Sharon Morgan says working with Congress to change the current rules, known as "No Child Left Behind," will be a big point of discussion. She says the practice of using a single test score to evaluate students, teachers and schools has been demoralizing for New Mexico, where many schools are labeled as 'failing' and "when, in fact, our students are continuing to make progress and continuing to do better, and our faculty and staff are working harder and harder, and getting more and better professional development."
Morgan believes there should be a broader system of evaluating teachers, schools and students. The NEA recently presented Congress with its own proposal for improving No Child Left Behind. Congress is set to reauthorize the law, also known as the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, this year. The NEA meeting continues through next week.
Morgan would also like to see more policies that encourage combining schools with other community resources, something she says is especially important for helping both families and student achievement in New Mexico's lower-income communities, "Early childhood programs, before and after-school care, maybe health care centers located at the schools, tutoring available to students, some family literacy courses being offered..."