NM Legislature Fails To Confirm Martinez Education Secretary-Designate

Mar 2, 2013

Credit NM Education Secretary Hanna Skandera

  New Mexico Senate Rules Committee Chairwoman Linda Lopez says lawmakers will likely start questioning Public Education Secretary Hanna Skandera next week, after failing to vote on her confirmation this weekend.

Teachers and their unions urged senators to reject Skandera on Saturday, the second day of public testimony over whether Skandera should keep her job.

Educational unions object to the top policies advocated by Gov. Susana Martinez's administration, including merit pay for teachers, a system for assigning grades of A-to-F for schools and a teacher evaluation system linked to student performance on standardized tests.

Opponents contend that Skandera doesn't meet a constitutional requirement for an education secretary to be a "qualified, experienced educator." She's never been a public school teacher or administrator.

Her supporters testified that Skandera has a background in educational policy and that qualifies her to run the agency.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.