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NM Teachers Say "Superman" Not the Solution to Education Woes

October 22, 2010

ALBUQUERQUE - Education is the talk of the Land of Enchantment -- on the campaign trail with Diane and Susana trading barbs over school funding; and in theaters, where the controversial "Waiting for Superman" is stirring the pot. The documentary paints a bleak picture of public schools and suggests teachers and teachers' unions deserve a large share of the blame.

NEA-New Mexico President Sharon Morgan believes the film doesn't tell the whole story. She says teachers are all for accountability, but it's difficult to evaluate teachers in terms of student progress because so many factors are involved.

"If we don't use multiple measures, and we aren't looking at something other than just a standardized test score, then we're not being fair to students, to kids, to schools, to communities -- we're not giving an accurate reflection on what's going on."

While the "Superman" film suggests more charter schools as one potential solution to the nation's education woes, Morgan takes away a different message from the success of the schools featured in the movie.

"They were very focused on teacher quality and put the money into those things. That's what's important is that we provide all of those services to kids, and all of our students deserve that."

Teachers and other public school employees from across the state will be gathering in Albuquerque this weekend for NEA-New Mexico's annual delegate council. Morgan notes how teachers are evaluated will be a big topic of discussion, and it's one she hopes will continue with the state Public Education Department in coming months.

Eric Mack, Public News Service - NM