- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 22, 2015

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - Two experts gave different views on New Mexico’s teacher evaluation system Monday amid a legal challenge from two unions seeking to scrap it.

At a hearing in Santa Fe, Arizona State University professor Audrey Amrein-Beardsley testified that student test scores have not been proven effective in gauging whether teachers should receive bonus pay or face disciplinary action.

She said the evaluation system implemented by the New Mexico Public Education Department is “not ready for prime time - if you define prime time as attaching any kinds of consequences to the data.”

However, under cross examination, Amrein-Beardsley admitted she had no detailed knowledge of how New Mexico’s teacher evaluation system was created or the specifics of how it operates.

Meanwhile, former Public Education Department assistant secretary Pete Goldschmidt, who helped develop the evaluation system, said New Mexico’s model was carefully tailored to its population and based on multiple years of testing data.

“I would argue the New Mexico model is working appropriately and is one of the best models in the country,” said Goldschmidt, who now works as a professor at California State University, Northridge. He was not cross-examined Monday.

The third day of testimony is scheduled for Oct. 1.

It comes amid efforts to halt the use of student tests as part of evaluations. The American Federation of Teachers New Mexico and the Albuquerque Teachers Federation are seeking an injunction to halt the use of test scores while their lawsuit against the evaluation system moves forward.

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