Senate Approves Teacher Evaluation Plan

New Mexico – A proposal to evaluate teachers based on student achievement and lay the groundwork for performance-based compensation has cleared the Senate.

The legislation is part of Gov. Susana Martinez's plan for improving New Mexico's public schools.

The Senate approved the measure Friday on a 34-6 vote and sent it to the House for consideration.

Opponents objected that 40 percent of the evaluation of some teachers will be based on the academic growth of their students as measured by standardized tests. Democratic Sen. Cisco McSorley of Albuquerque called them "stupid, worthless tests" that don't help struggling students.

The measure will require the firing of teachers and principals if they receive the lowest ratings after three years.

Supporters say the evaluation system will help reward good teachers

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.