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NM Teachers Take on Law "Leaving NM Kids Behind"

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 By Eric MackContact
June 30, 2010

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Rewriting the education standards that have left many New Mexico children behind in the last decade - that's at the top of the agenda this week at the annual National Education Association Representative Assembly in New Orleans, La.

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. In particular, 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.'

"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. She also would like to see more policies that encourage combining schools with other community resources. That is especially important in New Mexico's lower-income communities, both to help families and improve student achievement, she says.

"We need early-childhood programs, before- and after-school care, maybe health care centers located at the schools, tutoring available to students, and some family literacy courses."

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.

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