On Tuesday, Feb. 21, the state House of Representatives passed two bills that aim to ensure New Mexico attracts and retains good teachers.
The bills–HB 124 and 163–seek to do this by improving teacher evaluations and recognizing teacher skill and competency.
Rep. Debra Sariñana (D-Albuquerque) sponsored HB 163, to make teacher evaluations more fair by ensuring a teacher’s evaluation is not disproportionately affected by students who have too many absences.
The second bill, introduced by Rep. Sheryl Williams Stapleton (D-Albuquerque), provides a three-tier framework for teachers to advance to level II and level III licensure.
“HB 124 sets competency requirements for advancement that are defined to include instruction, student learning, and professional learning that are based on objective criteria,” said Rep. Stapleton. “All students deserve to succeed, and when we recognize our teachers’ professional capacities, we ensure the strongest teachers stay in New Mexico.”
Shortly after HB 124 passed on a 35 to 30 vote, Rep. Sariñana’s bill passed with a vote of 37 to 31.
While presenting HB 163 on the floor, Rep. Sariñana said, “This bill will improve teacher evaluations, and make sure teachers are fairly judged based on the progress of students who have the opportunity to be taught by that teacher.”
On Saturday, February 11, the House Education Committee held a three-hour hearing to address teacher evaluations. During the hearing, teachers, parents, students, and experts overwhelmingly called for reforms to the current teacher evaluation system. HB 163 and HB 124 address concerns raised at the committee hearing.