It might be harder than Hanna Skandera thinks for her Public Education Department to start telling teachers they’ll be paid based on students’ test scores, after a judge in Florida this week struck down that state’s plan to link teacher performance and pay. Skandera has been implementing a similar system change in New Mexico.
From the Palm Beach Post: Siding with two teachers and a union, an administrative law judge on Wednesday rejected a state-approved rule linking teacher performance and pay, declaring it “wholly invalid” because of the way it was pieced together.
“Material procedural flaws, such as those described in this final order, taint the resulting rule in its entirety and cannot be cured without starting over and redoing the process,” Judge John Van Laningham wrote.
The judge “did not reject the underlying 2011 law,” the Post notes, “only the rule that included requirements for how school districts should measure teacher performance.”
Florida teachers unions are ecstatic because they oppose the plan, which they say was created without enough teacher input.
The same criticisms have been level by teachers toward Skandera, who came here after serving a stint as a high-ranking employee at the Florida Department of Education. Skandera has systematically worked to enact Florida’s public-school model in New Mexico. The new A-F school grading policy, for example, was imported from Florida.
(Skandera, incidentally, couldn’t answer lawmakers’ questions about the A-F system at a Legislative Education Study Committee meeting on Thursday, according to a report in the Santa Fe New Mexican.
Teachers have turned out in droves to protest changes in the way the state evaluates and pays its teachers, but Skandera has pressed on with a test-centric approach. Her system is getting a tryout this school year at pilot schools around the state.
With this week’s ruling in Florida, however, there is hope for teachers in New Mexico that Skandera’s plan might still be undone.