--2 Morning Word: Teachers continue to oppose evaluation plans
Oct. 21, 2016

Morning Word: Teachers continue to oppose evaluation plans

And the rest of New Mexico's news

October 28, 2013, 8:00 am
By Matthew Reichbach
  • The two New Mexico teacher unions are working to slow down the implementation of teacher evaluations.
    On Friday, AFT New Mexico sent a letter to the state’s schools chief threatening to withdraw support for renewal of New Mexico’s waiver under the No Child Left Behind Act if three conditions weren’t met. [...] Also on Friday, the board of the state’s other teachers union, the National Education Association, passed a resolution authorizing its leadership team to look into legal action against the PED’s teacher evaluation system, which took effect this school year.
  • State Sen. George Munoz, D-Gallup, is taking up the cause of teachers who are opposed to the new teachers evaluations. Teachers say it will force them to "teach to the test."
    Angered by what he considers the education department’s heavy-handed mandates, Munoz wants the agency and its appointed leader, Hanna Skandera, to be evaluated through a system established by a legislative education committee.

    Munoz, D-Gallup, said under Skandera and Gov. Susana Martinez’s administration, his hometown high school been forced into a chaotic start because testing threw the curriculum out of balance and dampened intellectual curiosity.
  • The Albuquerque Journal has the latest on the shooting of police officers in Albuquerque.
  • Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich signed onto a letter asking to extend the open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act.
  • New Mexico isn't alone in Spaceports. The Albuquerque Journal looks at the other states that hope to be the king of commercial space travel.
  • The Mid-Heights Messenger looks at the abortion foes who are preparing for a municipal vote on late term abortion.
  • Also, the Mid-Heights Messenger looks at the money in the District 7 runoff in Albuquerque.
  • Mayoral candidates in Santa Fe see both the pros and cons of public financing.
  • KUNM has highlights from the same-sex marriage hearing in the state Supreme Court with selected audio clips. Definitely take some time to listen.
  • Rio Rancho will get extra polling sites in 2014. Rio Rancho was the scene of extremely long lines in the 2012 election.
    There will be 16 voting convenience centers in Rio Rancho, two in Corrales and one in Bernalillo in 2014 elections, according to a plan the Sandoval County Commission adopted Thursday.
    In 2012, Rio Rancho had just five voting convenience centers despite being one of the largest cities in the state.
  • Meanwhile, it looks like the next big push in Congress will be on immigration reform. Democrats want a comprehensive bill, while Republicans want smaller pieces of legislation.
  • Gov. Susana Martinez is on a fundraising trip through the south.
  • Fourteen military veterans who did not have their remains claimed by family members will be interred at Santa Fe National Ceremony on November 1.
  • At total of 13,000 New Mexico residents signed up for Medicaid after the state opted to expand the program in the state. The Supreme Court ruled it would be up to the states whether or not to approve the expansion of Medicaid as part of the Affordable Care Act.
  • Steve Terrell says if any fireworks happen in the Democratic gubernatorial primary, he expects it to come from State Sen. Linda Lopez, D-Albuquerque, and not AG Gary King or State Sen. Howie Morales, D-Silver City.

    Also, he previews a portion of Rep. Steve Pearce's upcoming autobiography:
    It’s a downright exciting opener as Pearce, a longtime pilot, describes a flight in his personal plane one night in 1998. He had flown his wife to see their daughter in Arkansas. On the return flight over Texas, the trip got more than a little bumpy.
  • Heath Haussamen says the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government needs to be more insurgent and less conciliatory to truly advance the cause of open government. Haussamen wrote about this based on the group considering Gov. Susana Martinez and Attorney General Gary King for Dixon Awards -- despite each politician's less than stellar track record on open government causes.
  • The Albuquerque Journal tackles the "controversy" behind doing yoga stretches in P.E. classes.
    Baldonado, a Christian, insists he has nothing against Buddhism or Hinduism, but said yoga could be seen as a gateway to Eastern religion. “It’s just not something we partake in,” he said in an interview.

    He and his wife home-school their three daughters so there’s little chance they will be exposed to yoga or other religious practices, he said. The girls are on a swim team, he added, “and when the coach uses yoga, we opt out.”
  • Apparently Los Alamos Public Schools is one of the largest landlords in Los Alamos.
  • After losing funding from the Otero County Commission, the Alamogordo Public Libarary stopped ordering new books.
    Rowe said the $33,000 the county supplied the library was typically allocated toward purchasing new books. She said the money was also used to buy DVDs, CDs and other informational material.

    "There's not going to be any way to make up this funding," Rowe said "If we don't get this money, if this money is not restored, there will be a permanent reduction in the book budget."
  • The author of a study on the Ute Water Project, a study done almost 20 years ago, has no definitive opinion on a proposed update to the study.
    “I really haven’t followed any of it,” said Whipple. And does Whipple think two decades later it is time for an update or new study?

    “What’s the purpose? I’m not sure what another study would do except maybe come up with revised estimates,” Whipple said. “I can’t really tell you it would be worth it to do another one.”
  • Albuquerque Business First lists the top fifty oil producers in the state. It is subscription only.
  • A study is focusing on the boondoggle that is the Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho.
    University of Florida professors Timothy Kellison and Brian Mills gave their presentation on the study at the Sports Marketing Association conference in Albuquerque last week.

    “In retrospect, the subsidization of the Rio Rancho arena may not have been in the city’s best interests,” according to an abstract of the presentation.
  • The state expects the federal government to reimburse the state for a $20 million price tag to replace a washed out road from flooding this summer.
  • The Albuquerque Journal looks at the SF Railyard project and how Santa Fe hopes to draw visitors to the area.
  • A Diné toxicologist is studying the effects of uranium on DNA.
  • The Carlsbad Current-Argus looks at the ghost town of Mogollon.
    Today, Mogollon, billing itself as the ghost town that refuses to die, is privately owned and run by Mogollon Enterprises. The small town of a couple dozen residents is tucked away in the narrow canyon and receives only a few hours of sunlight a day. Silver Creek runs along the north side of the main street straight through town.

    The town is home to several small businesses today, such as antique stores, an artisan gallery, cafe, museum and the theater that is believed to be the oldest intact movie house in the state.
  • Every home in Albuquerque should now have a recycle bin. Since we moved a month ago (wow, it has already been a month), we have packed our recycle bin each and every week. What is good is that just about all of our neighbors put their blue bins out each week along with their normal trash.
  • A Santa Fe engineer is part of a team that is looking at the food chain in Antarctica.
  • The Albuquerque Journal examines the rivalry between the United States and Mexico in soccer.
    I know that a lot of Americans are snickering that their team, which they have seen Mexico clamoring to beat and humiliate, is responsible for keeping our North American rival’s World Cup hopes alive. Apart from the smugness factor, Americans should be rooting for Mexico’s team if for nothing more than economic reasons.

    There are big bucks at stake for bars, restaurants, sports apparel shops and food companies. Millions of Mexicans living and working in the U.S. make their schedule revolve around Mexico’s games during the World Cup. Parties are held, Mexican soccer uniforms and paraphernalia are purchased, and a lot of beer is drunk.
    How big of an economic impact would it be if Mexico failed to reach the World Cup? It's in the hundreds of millions of dollars between sponsorships, souvenir sales, TV contracts and other issues.
  • The El Paso Chihuahuas nickname (it's a AAA baseball team) that I love to make fun of already is a success in getting a national audience to talk about the team. Up here in Albuquerque, the Isotopes name did a similar thing, since the name came from a popular episode of The Simpsons.

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