We have an update to the briefing given to the Legislative Education Study Committee and others here. Please note that there have been changes to the graduation data (page 8) and an addendum added (page 34) addressing the percentage of teachers evaluated at or above proficient.
The January 2015 Beacon (Vol. XVIII, No 1) is online!
Contents Preview: Editor’s Message – Kim Johnson; Special reprint of letter that went viral on NM teachers; Part 1 of the Beacon version of the briefing on NM educational performance and new teacher evaluation protocol (growth based portion) given to the Legislative Education Study Committee and the Legislative Finance Committee Joint Meeting in August 2014; Announcement of guest speaker - Michael Shermer for February 21, 2015.
You can browse previous issues of the Beacon here.
CESE has received many requests for copies of the presentation on "Data Quality and Methods for School Grades and Teacher Evaluations" that was given to the LESC/LFC committees and other groups of professionals concerned with public education.
We are pleased to announce that the latest version of the presentation is available here for download and perusal. The document is just under 5 Megabytes in size; it is a PDF version of CESE's Powerpoint presentation, augmented with notes as necessary. Questions about the presentation should be directed to CESE past president/ current board member Kim Johnson, who has spent months developing this briefing. Kudos, Kim!
Congrats to CESE's own Kim Johnson on a successful briefing on the CESE Method to the LESC/LFC comittees, who met today in Las Vegas, NM.
Way to go,Kim!
Walter Bishop Murfin
Born March 28, 1925
Died February 6, 2014
I’ll bet you didn’t know that was Walt’s middle name? Well, it was. I don’t know if he cared whether anyone knew or not but, unfortunately, he is no longer here to berate me for telling everyone, and that hurts. Badly. Walt died yesterday (February 6, 2013).
Walt Murfin is shown here being awarded a CESE plaque honoring his many achievements (February 4th, 2012).
He had a very hard time of it for almost a year, first with a hemorrhagic stroke, and then finally with pneumonia. It was all too much for him. Even someone with such a strong will and intellect as his finally had to let go. His wife, Bettyann, stayed with him at his home until the end with her daughter next door, Walt’s son, John, and Hospice to help out. Still, it is pretty tough.
Walt was nearing 89, and a year ago, still sharp as a tack and a bit of a rascal on occasion to boot! But Bettyann shared him with us, CESE. So he was our rascal! He was one of the smartest people I have ever had the privilege of being around. He was also a good friend – a very good friend. Though meeting late in life, we saw things so much alike that it was as if he and I had known each other for many years. Sure, we didn’t agree on everything, but on most things. When he would get upset with me, he would eventually apologize. When I would get upset with him, he eventually would apologize. Yes – you heard that right. Walt was a complex person.
Walt and CESE went together as if they were born for each other. I personally think that CESE gave him some added purpose as he got older and, in fact, he was a great asset to CESE. Walt, along with Marshall Berman, was the impetus behind the Murfin Method, or as he wished to call it, the CESE Method. This is a unique way of determining how to improve the educational system (K –12) in New Mexico. Walt worked on this for days at a time, developing the method and details of computations. Walt also help Marshall evaluate data when Marshall was on the state school Board of Education before it was done away with. He helped former CESE president, Steve Getty, perform needed analyses in his educational work. In other words, Walt became very wrapped up in education and in the CESE cause of improving not just science and math education in our state, but also improving all education. He worked on this constantly and passed the results and methods on to anyone who would listen. It has always been CESE’s hope that the state would seriously listen to what we have to say and act upon it. Walt worked very, very hard to that end. Even after his stroke, he recovered enough to almost desperately make sure that his work could be replicated. And people have been listening!
And, Walt, we are trying to carry on, but you will be impossible to replace. The best we can do is to hope to come close.
Walt, you have done more than your part to make the world a better place. That’s all one could ask of another person. We miss you very much, Walt. Happy sailing.
CESE Past President
Feb. 7th, 2014
CESE board member Kim Johnson has been hard at work refining our presentation on the CESE Method for determining how New Mexico's schools, students and teachers are faring. While the method was originally developed to provide clear paths to school improvement, it can also be used to make teacher merit evaluations much, much fairer than the proposed PED A-F method of assigning scores for performance.
We have published an update on the CESE Method, here. The CESE Method is a method for showing schools how to improve, as opposed to the current New Mexico Public Education Department system, that only shows schools how well they are doing compared to standards.