Oct 25 The Michelle Lujan-Grisham Promise to Unions That Would Cost New Mexico Millions
Giving the benefit of the doubt, it’s possible Michelle Lujan-Grisham doesn’t know her campaign pledge will cost New Mexicans millions. However, it’s just as possible she is well aware her promise to eliminate the PARCC test “on day one” comes with a hefty price tag but she has to put her union bosses first. As we’ll see, her promise is both reckless and unoriginal.
We’ll discuss the faulty thinking behind eliminating the PARCC later on, for now let’s look at simple logistics.
Since New Mexico’s testing window begins on April 22, a potential Lujan-Grisham Public Education Department (PED) would have less than four months to accomplish many things including:
Develop a new testGo out to bid for a new vendor (unless Union bosses have already told her who to select.)Provide training for 89 school districts and thousands of educatorsExplain to the Federal Department of Education why a new test is betterPrepare over 100,000 children for a new exam
The price tag to keep this promise is easily in the millions. Also, those millions might have to come out of the classroom, since the record surplus that Governor Martinez will leave the next Governor likely won’t be available to spend until July 1, 2019.
We know the obstacles against delivering on this ill-advised promise because union bosses in New Jersey tried to do the exact same thing and failed.
LESSONS FROM NEW JERSEY
Governor Phil Murphy of New Jersey promised to eliminate the PARCC when he was a candidate too. To date, his promise remains unfulfilled.
Gov. Murphy now says “The transition is expected to take a couple of years.”
According to the North Jersey Record, education commissioner Lamont Repollet notes the state has to further examine costs and make sure the new tests align with standards.
Again from the Record, an “advisory group conducted about 75 meetings and traveled the state over two months seeking input on the testing. It recommended a number of changes that Murphy embraced, but during a July 10 news conference in Atlantic City he acknowledged that "we're not eliminating PARCC completely."
On top of that, Democrat leaders in New Jersey are fighting to keep the PARCC.
"My concern is that rolling back the PARCC test basically to the federal minimum standards is not going to continue to move New Jersey and New Jersey students in the right direction,"
-State Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt, D-Camden, chairwoman of the Assembly's education committee.
It appears that in New Jersey, the effort to establish and keep PARCC is bipartisan. So, who is behind Governor Murphy’s effort to eliminate accountability? The state’s teacher union bosses.
LESSONS FOR NEW MEXICO
When it comes to talking about tests in schools it can so often be much like telling people to eat their vegetables. Everyone knows it’s good for them, no one wants to do it. However, following the union bosses down the road of no accountability would hurt our students.
From educators to parents there are many who support keeping the PARCC exam as a critical tool to understand what students need.
To eliminate the exam just to please special interests comes with a terrible price tag that our state and our students can’t afford.