In marked contrast when compared to Governor Susana Martinez’s initiatives, U.S. Representative Steve Pearce stated that if elected governor, school districts will be given more of a local control on hot-button topics like teacher evaluations as well as standardized testing.
U.S. Rep. Pearce – currently the only Republican entering 2018’s gubernatorial race- stated that he also aims to contract local businesses in order to begin internship programmes throughout high schools and help struggling students receive training certificates for industry work they prefer, even if college is not their path.
“I would push decision-making about education as close to the classroom as possible,” said the Hobbs native, 70, during his interview with The New Mexican. The representative also said that education coupled with crime and the economy are his priorities throughout the campaign.
Pearce did not necessarily say how he would rid schools of the teacher evaluation process or even standardised testing, but he mentioned that he would leave it to superintendents.
“Why go through mindless exercises on testing and teacher evaluations?”
Pearce’s comments on reforming public schooling contrast significantly from those made by the Public Education Department that has previously drawn ire from educators through what they consider is too much of an emphasis on testing students and unfair evaluation of teachers. That process led to multiple lawsuits pending.
Pearce stated that teachers are constantly under stress in order to be “everything but teachers – we demand they be policemen, we demand they be truancy officers, we demand they be probation officers, we demand they be priests, pastors and counselors.”
He thinks that this pushes them to quit the profession after being demoralized.
“Just put ’em in the classroom and let them do their job,” Pearce said.
Pearce also believes that the current education system is failing to create an outlet fr disengaged youth, who leave school to pursue a life filled with crime, despair, or drugs.
He said: “We have to catch kids earlier.”