[Susan notes: The weekly letter to teachers from the Albuquerque Superintendent of Schools contained this direct plea: Don't quit. . . as well as the implied plea: Stand and fight. Albuquerque teachers are under severe pressure from the Common Core, from the governor, and from Hanna Skandera, New Mexico Public Education Secretary and head of Chiefs for Change (formerly Deputy Chief of Staff for U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings, Undersecretary for Education for California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Deputy Commissioner of Education under former Florida Governor Jeb Bush).]
Submitted to but not published
Wow!! Thank you for the emails last week about my weekly emails. Very positive, for the most part. . . .
I want to first and foremost ask you to take advantage of the Teacher/Community meetings that APS is hosting on six different evenings and at six different locations. The first was at Volcano Vista on Tuesday evening. We had more than 75 teachers and somewhere between 85-100 parents. Please look at the APS website for a schedule of the meetings and their locations. You can also pull up the Power Point being used at these meetings and a new FAQ sheet on Evaluations. Check it out. Our Community meeting tonight will be hosted by West Mesa. 4:00-5:30 for teachers and 6:30-8:00 for the parents and the community. There was a tremendous amount of interest, passion, and at times anger about the testing, EOC's, Grad requirements, etc.. I will talk more about this later.
A teacher wrote me recently asking me to pat his Principal, Ben Santistevan, on the back for calling parents and complimenting them on their childÃ¢€™s success in school. Ben did'Ã¢€™t do this just once, but several times. Can you imagine the feeling a parent would have if someone from school would call and just say, your kid is great!!!
I had a blast this morning at Lavaland reading to 3 and 4 year olds. I felt like Santa Claus!! Lots of hugs, this is why we went into this business!!!
Finally and with a bit of trepidation, I need to say this to you; DON'T QUIT!!!!!!!! More times than I want to repeat, teachers are saying this to me. Don't quit on our kids, Don't walk out on our kids, Don't succumb to those who really don't care about our kids. Those brown and blue eyes at Lavaland, VanBuren, Jimmy Carter, EG Ross, Double Eagle, Valley, and throughout this District need you and more importantly depend upon you and me. We cannot in good conscious turn our backs on those who need us the most!!! This remains an honorable profession.
On October 16th, I am aware that a group of teachers are coming to the Board meeting to have their voices heard directly by the Board on Education reform and the impact that it is having on students and teachers. This is not the time to be apathetic, it is a time for the Board, the Legislature, and those who run education in Santa Fe to know how you feel. This is not about accountability, it is really not about evaluation, or school letter grades, or social promotion, or testing; it is about professionals speaking out about teaching and learning. It is about professionals who have dedicated a lifetime to children because that is what we were called to do and it is what we love to do!!
We have great staff in APS and we have great kids, donÃ¢€™t let anyone tell you otherwise!!
Winston Brooks, Superintendent