NMPED Task Force Crams Union Foxes in the Hen House

As described by the New Mexico Public Education Department (NMPED), the newly formed Student Success Task Force is charged with “re-envisioning a balanced assessment system”.

The email I received reads: “Task Force members (up to 40) will be appointed by the Secretary the first week of April. Task Force nominations close this week on March 30.” As promised, NMPED shared the list of 40 task force members, which is still available online.


The original Task Force


The members were largely representative of districts from across the state and educators at all levels. Never mind there are no students on this so-called “Student Success Task Force”. I get in trouble for pointing out that sort of foolishness.

Notice that I used were, as in past tense. Earlier this week, in a rush before today’s first convening of the task force, NMPED announced a revised list of 46 members.


The new “improved” group of 46


The new additions? Two come from the Pueblo of Jemez, an elementary teacher and member of the Pueblo’s Department of Education. Surprising that an administration claiming to champion Native and Hispanic students adds representation only after the fact.

The remaining four crammed on are talking heads from two different teachers’ unions. I’ve written about their painful lack of diversity before, but it bears sharing and seeing again.

ABQ Teachers Federation President, Ellen Bernstein

National Education Association-NM Executive Director, Charles Bowyer

American Federation of Teachers-NM President, Stephanie Ly

National Education Association-NM President, Betty Patterson

Somehow, after the nomination deadline and first task force had been announced, these four non-educators, who work tirelessly to ensure parents have zero idea how their students are learning in schools, were crammed into a group tasked with determining how we will assess teaching and learning in the future.

Remember, this is all because the Governor unceremoniously dumped PARCC without a backup plan merely a week into her term as part of the “undo everything” strategy championed by these four.

Taking away all teacher evaluation isn’t enough; neither is dumping “A-F” school grades so parents and families have no idea how their school is performing. The presence of these four will be enough to muck up and detour any actual progress towards student success. Or as they call it: Mission Accomplished.

As evidenced by Gov. MLG’s education transition team, the new reality of public education in New Mexico is that NMPED takes its marching orders from NEA-NM and the Albuquerque Teachers Federation, prioritizing non-educators over teachers and students at every turn.