New Mexico - Public Education Department

FAQs Collapse AllExpand All
  Who developed the EOCs?
The End of Course (EOC) assessments were written by New Mexico teachers during a summer institute, under the guidance of an independent assessment and development specialist. Next, these exams were handed to a different set of New Mexico teachers to check items for bias and fairness. These edited tests were then given to independent content experts to review. Finally, the EOCs were field tested on approximately 4,000 New Mexico students. The reliability measure of the EOC operation items was consistent with the reliability on the High School Graduation Assessment.

  May I have a copy of my EOC so I can adequately prepare my students?
To maintain test security and integrity, copies of the test are not available in advance. However, blueprints for every EOC housed by PED are available here. EOC blueprints identify content standards applicable to the EOC assessment and describe the design of the EOC with a focus on content range and patterns of emphasis.

  Why can't teachers choose their own assessments?
To the degree available, student achievement measures must be common, rigorous and linked to standards that are adopted by the state of New Mexico. This will ensure that the measurement of student achievement creates equitable expectations for all students regardless of background characteristics.

  What if there's no EoC for my class on the PED website?
Districts which chose to use EoCs as a measure of student achievement for teacher effectiveness are responsible for providing those EoCs to their teachers. The EoCs are meant to replace final exams. To help support the effort and develop capacity in districts, PED paid for the initial creation of EoCs that were developed by New Mexico teachers under the guidance of an independent assessment and development specialist. A list of those EoCs is available here.

Evaluation Plans
  How was my district evaluation plan chosen?
Each district had the opportunity to submit a custom evaluation plan, tailored to their community's needs, within the framework provided by NMAC 6.69.8. If a district did not submit a plan, then they automatically defaulted to the state advocated plan. Many districts chose to adopt the state advocated evaluation plan. To view your district or charter evaluation plan or the NMPED evaluation plan here.

  What's the difference between the PED State Advocated Plan and what each district uses?
A sound evaluation plan allows for an accurate portrayal of what teachers and schools are doing in their unique districts. As such, districts and charters in the state of New Mexico have a good deal of flexibility within a uniform framework. While all districts must use student achievement results, there are many options for the exact assessment used, for example districts can choose a performance based assessment or the NMSBA. Customized plans encourage districts to stay focused on their particular goals. The State Advocated Plan is detailed on our Evaluation Plan page; each district's plan is available through the drop-down box on the same page.

Multiple Measures
  How are Parent Survey points calculated?
Parent surveys will be scored on both content and participation. For example, if the average response (on a 1-5 scale) was 3, the average score is 60%. If 80% of parents responded, the average score of 60% multiplied by the parent response of 80% is 48%. That percentage would then be multiplied by the available points (10 points if this measure was entered at 5%) = 4.8 points.

  How is Teacher Attendance calculated?
Teacher attendance scores are based on a simple calculation of total points available (20 points) less the number of days absent.  Teachers can receive up to 20 points in the Teacher Attendance category. 
• 18–20 Exemplary
• 15–17 Highly Effective
• 10–14 Effective
• 7–9 Minimally Effective
• ≥ 6 Ineffective
A district can submit its own cut scores, but they cannot be more lenient than the state default scores. Leave that is excluded from the attendance calculation includes leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), bereavement, jury duty, military leave, religious leave, professional development, and coaching.

  How are Student Survey points calculated?
The average score on the survey divided by the total possible score, multiplied by the available points for this measure. E.g. If the average response is 4 (on a 1-5 scale), the average percentage would be 4/5 or 80%, multiplied by the available points (10 points if this measure was entered at 5%) = 8 points.

  How many articles of evidence do I need to upload into Teachscape for an effective rating?
The amount of articles as evidence required is a district level decision. However, PED is recommending a quality over quantity approach. You are not being rated by volume but rather by what evidence accurately reflects where you are as a teacher both in terms of Planning and Preparation and Professionalism.

  What artifacts are required for Domain 4 of the observation rubric?
While PED does not prescribe the articles of evidence in any of the domains, we do suggest a quality over quantity approach. Examples for Domain 4 – Professionalism can be accessed here.

  Who trained the observers, and how were they trained?
Observers were trained during the summer of 2013 by the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) and, in the fall, observers were trained by the NM School Leadership Institute. The NMTEACH Observation Protocol is the tool on which all certified observers were trained. The certified observers utilize the Observation Protocol to guide their teacher observations.

  What is the difference between the walk-through and the observation?
The walk-through is an informal classroom visit that lasts no more than 15 minutes (usually 3–5 minutes); feedback should be provided to teachers and can also be compiled into site or departmental statistics. An observation is a formal classroom visit that lasts a minimum of 20 minutes, and results in written feedback for the teacher. Formal observations are conducted two to three times each school year.

  We chose Observation Option 3, which uses an external "certified" observer. Where do we get this "certified observer"?
Schools may arrange another administrator themselves, e.g. a principal from a neighboring schools; or, districts can use a PED approved, contracted observer. If using a PED contracted observer, the district/school must request observation support well in advance of the observation deadline to ensure district needs are met.

Professional Development
  Does the new NMTEACH Educator Effectiveness plan have new PDP forms?
The PDP form and process have not changed from prior years. Teachers will develop their individual PDP with their principal based on school and personal goals as they always have, using a school choice form. The only new component is that now there will be a mechanism for evaluating the progress of the PDP via Domain 4 of the NMTEACH Observation Rubric. In addition, NMPED has provided an optional PDP form within the Teachscape system. PED does NOT require districts to use this form.

Student Achievement Data
  What if teachers team-teach? Who gets credit for that student?
Students are assigned to one teacher. That teacher would get credit. A school could change teacher assignment each snapshot and thus both teachers would get counted automatically.

  I know VAMs are complicated, but what's a basic explanation for how my student achievement measure is calculated?
This measure is based on the growth of the individual students in a classroom. The Value-Added Model (VAM) used does account for the individual student background by using three years worth of data for each individual student. The past performance of a student accurately reflects that student's socioeconomic status, mobility, second language learner status, etc. For example, Matt's expectation is different than Alia's expectation because he is a different person with a different set of circumstances which has resulted in different past performances than Alia's. Maybe Matt has scored 30, 30 and 30, and so we would expect Matt also to score 30 this year. Maybe Alia has scored 15, 16, and 14, so we would expect her to score 15 this year. If in this class, Matt scores 32, his teacher helped him achieve two points higher than expected. If Alia scores 18, the teacher helped her achieve three points higher than expected. You now have a VAM of 2.5 points (the average of Alia's and Matt's gains). In this scenario, Alia is most likely not going to score the same as Matt; however, the teacher still gets credit for teaching Alia. Moreover, Alia may not pass her grade-level SBA, but the teacher still gets credit for teaching Alia.

There is a more detailed presentation on VAM in the Toolbox section. It is a narrated PowerPoint presentation that explains in detail how VAM works for Educator Effectiveness.

  How can a teacher see where students are and where they are going during the year?
Teachers should be provided the prior year student achievement performance data by their district. Teachers should be recording formative assessments throughout the year.

Teacher Evaluations
  Who will have access to my evaluation? Will it be released to my principal, parents, students and/or the public?
NM Public Education Department shares personally-identifiable data with only authorized school district and charter school personnel. The summative evaluation is a part of the teacher's personnel file and will be treated with the same privacy protections as all other contents of the personnel file.

Aggregate school, district and state level data may be released. This data will be subject to FERPA-like rules that do not allow for a teacher to be personally identified unless a confidentiality agreement has been signed. Data compiled from NMTEACH will be de-identified of individual teacher records and will be devoid of information that could be used either alone or in combination with other information to identify a teacher.

  How do I read my evaluation?
Please click here for a detailed guidance document.

  I think there is an error on my evaluation. How do I get this corrected?
Evaluations are handled at the local level, and, like all employment rights issues, questions regarding the summative form are to be handled by the school district first. We recognize, however, there will questions around this new form. Please address your concerns at the local level. If the school or district cannot resolve the issue they will forward the concern to NM Public Education Department.

  Now that the evaluation is done what is the next step? What do I do with it?
The goal of NMTEACH is to enhance student achievement by supporting and recognizing teachers. For the first time New Mexico has comprehensive data to help teachers identify their areas of strength and areas needing improvement and support. Please carefully read your summative evaluation. Identify areas where you scored well and note areas where you might want to seek help and support. As you prepare your Professional Development Plan for the next year keep in mind what you learned about your teaching practice from the summative evaluation. Professional development opportunities are available through your district, in your school and at the state level. In your school, Professional Learning Communities can offer professional development with your colleagues and your school leaders will now have the data to pursue trainings that will benefit the group. There are also trainings and professional development available statewide. For more information about training and professional development opportunities, please click here for the NM Public Education calendar of events.

  Will I be asked to do any additional work under the new evaluation system?
NM Public Education Department is not requiring any additional work from teachers as part of the NMTEACH Educator Effectiveness System. Work assignments, professional development, etc. occur at the discretion of the districts and individual schools. While a new system of evaluation may feel arduous, the extra effort is more the result of doing things differently rather than the assignment of new responsibilities being placed upon the teacher.

  How is student achievement data used in my evaluation if I teach an elective course and don't have any Standards Based Assessments (SBA) related to my courses?
Depending on the assessment chosen by your district for use in the Improved Student Achievement category, there may be student achievement data applied to you. To see your district adopted plan, click here.

  What if I haven't been teaching my subject in New Mexico for three years? What student achievement data will be used for my evaluation?
Teachers who do not have 3 years of student achievement data available will have graduated considerations applied to their evaluations. Since available data varies from teacher to teacher, there are many different scenarios for graduated considerations. To identify your unique situation please visit the NMTEACH website to view the graduated considerations table or use our graduated considerations calculator to understand how your points will be redistributed.

  I've been teaching third grade for years, why don't I have any student achievement data?
Because Improved Student Achievement scores are based on student growth, PED needs to have historical student data to set a growth estimate for each individual student. It is the difference between the actual progress and the growth estimate that creates the teacher score. If, however, PED has no historical student data, then we cannot create a growth estimate against which to measure the actual growth. This would prevent a teacher from receiving a score in the Improved Student Achievement category. Data from past years were only sporadically reported by districts (and often without State Student IDs). Given that a 3rd grade 2013 VAS score requires data from both 2012 and 2011 for a student to be included, it is often the case that data are incomplete for a student; this coupled with the fact that 3rd classes tend to have around 20 or fewer students, it is easy to have fewer than 10 students' scores recorded (which results in VAS scores not being reported). PED is addressing this situation by receiving K-2 scores for Dibels and Discovery directly from the vendor for SYE2015.

  Why are the possible points for my district chosen measures different than what it says on the district plan?
Because not all teachers have the same level of experience, PED created Graduated Considerations, essentially a method for phasing-in Improved Student Achievement and redirecting those "unused" points to other evaluation categories. Graduated Considerations also apply to teachers with varied levels of student achievement data. Please refer to the Graduated Considerations table posted here to determine how your possible points are assigned.

  Why have I been placed in the wrong teacher group?
Teacher groups are defined by either the grade level taught or by the assessment their students are required to take. Because student achievement data lags a year, a teacher's group for SYE2014 is based upon the majority of students taught SYE2013. For example, if a teacher in SYE 2013 had 35 students in a Group A grade/course and 15 students in a Group B grade/course, that teacher would be categorized as Group A. Please review your teacher assignments and students for SYE 2013.

Teacher Grouping
  How do I know what Teacher Group I am?
For the purposes of this first year of the NMTEACH Educator Effectiveness System implementation, classroom teachers are defined as those teachers with a dedicated student roster. Support teachers, coaches, interventionists, and all other teachers who do not have an assigned student roster are not part of the initial phase of the Educator Effectiveness System. These teachers (Group D) will be added to the 2014–2015 school year.

Teacher groups are defined by either the grade level taught or by the assessment their students are required to take. Group C teachers are comprised of teachers who teach students in kindergarten through second grade. Group A teachers are those who teach a grade or subject in which the Standards Based Assessment (SBA) is taken. Group B is comprised of all other teachers.

  What if a student moves classes?
Teachers are evaluated based on the students in their class at four specific snapshots (40th day, 80th day, 120th day, End of Year). If a student moves in the middle of the year, the first teacher will be evaluated on the student's progress in the beginning of that year, and the second teacher will be evaluated on the student's progress in the ending of that year.

  What if I teach both Group A and Group B subjects?
A teacher will always default to Group A. If an educator teaches classes that fall within both Group A and Group B, that teacher would be considered a Group A teacher for evaluation purposes. If a district chose EoCs as their secondary measure of Student Achievement, a teacher in this situation would use 35% SBA and 15% EoCs that correspond to the Group B courses.

  How will special education students factor in?
All students deserve to learn. As such, Special Education teachers, whether in a self-contained classroom or inclusion classroom, are grouped according to the students they serve, whether Group A or Group B. *Teachers of severely or profoundly disabled are exempt from year 1.

  As a new teacher, how am I evaluated?
Please refer to our Graduated Considerations.

  If Group B teachers are those whose grades/subjects are not SBA tested, why are my Group B teachers evaluated on the SBA (or another assessment)?
Districts individually chose measures they deem as relevant. All Group B teachers, especially through New Mexico Common Core State Standards (CCSS) should align quite readily with reading and even math. If, however, a district believes that Group B teachers' courses have no relation to the SBA (reading, math, science, writing) or an interim assessment, then a district can opt to use End of Course Exams (EoC). The PED has almost 30 EoCs ready for use, including elementary PE, Music, and Art.

  How are bilingual educators evaluated?
Because they are responsible for delivering the same content as other teachers, albeit in another language, bilingual educators are evaluated according to the grade and content area they teach (i.e. Group A, B or C) just the same as other teachers. The exception is teachers who are Native Language Certified (teachers with 520 certificates). These 520 teachers are entirely excluded from the NMTEACH Educator Effectiveness plan; though they may still have Professional Development Plans (PDP) based on a district or school decision and/or they may be evaluated according to their pueblo or tribe. Teachers with bilingual endorsement who teach native languages will not be assessed on the native language classes, but will be assessed only on the other classes they teach, if applicable.

  How do I make changes or submit new information to my teacher list in Teachscape?
If there are inaccuracies in your teacher list—such as missing teachers, teachers who should not be on the list, or teachers who do not have an NMTEACH evaluation workflow on their page—these can be resolved. Please use this User Maintenance document to make corrections or additions to your teacher list. The User Maintenance document must be returned to Teachscape; instructions are on the document.

  Is there any additional training available for the Teachscape tool?
Yes. Though face-to-face training for Teachscape has concluded for the 2013–2014 school year, there are other options available to be instructed in Teachscape. Please go to Teachscape's dedicated New Mexico webpage for information about periodic live webinars, previously recorded webinars, and PowerPoint presentations. You may also reach Teachscape via telephone at 877-562-3093 or by email,

  How are teacher evaluations calculated?
Effective educators have high standards of professional practice and demonstrate their ability to improve student learning. Thus, the NMTEACH Educator Effectiveness System is based on measures of student academic growth, evidence from classroom and school practice, and contributions to colleagues and the school community. The final evaluation for any teacher is comprised of a combined score of the three individual components: Improved Student Achievement (50%), Classroom Observations (25%), and Multiple Measures (25%).

However, for most teachers, it will be three to four years before they are eligible to be evaluated at 50% for the improved student achievement portion. Until that time, remaining points from the Improved Student Achievement category will shift to the observation and multiple measures categories as described in our Graduated Considerations document.

  How does a teacher know how he or she is scoring during the process?
Because the NMTEACH Educator Effectiveness System was created to be a system of improvement, conclusions should not be formed about the final score of an individual teacher based on incomplete evaluation data. NMTEACH was intentionally designed to be a year-long process, so educators would have the opportunity to reflect on each part of the evaluation and respond to it accordingly with adjustments in teaching practice when necessary. By looking at each category separately, it provides teachers an opportunity to specifically recognize what they are doing well and seek help for the areas they need to improve. Although not all categories are weighted equally, it is unlikely that any individual category will determine the final evaluation score.

  What happens if I receive a minimally effective or ineffective rating?
Teachers who demonstrate ineffective or minimally effective performance will receive targeted supervision and support. This process will be documented in a Professional Growth Plan (PGP) that will be the responsibility of the teacher to demonstrate improvements in areas of need.

  When are districts required to put a teacher on a Performance Growth Plan (PGP)?
Teachers are to be placed on a performance growth plan for 90 school days from receipt of the notice of minimally effective or ineffective performance rating on the Effectiveness Evaluation System. This is not to be confused with providing feedback to teachers within ten days of conducting an observation, which is one component of the evaluation plan. Districts, however, do have local discretion to place teachers on a PGP after a single observation or any other single component of the effectiveness evaluation system. This may done based on professional judgment of the principal.
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