A blog by Audrey Amrein-Beardsley
New Mexico Lawsuit Update
Posted: 26 Sep 2016 10:11 AM PDT
As you all likely recall, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), joined by the Albuquerque Teachers Federation (ATF), last fall, filed a “Lawsuit in New Mexico Challenging [the] State’s Teacher Evaluation System.” Plaintiffs charged that the state’s teacher evaluation system, imposed on the state in 2012 by the state’s current Public Education Department (PED) Secretary Hanna Skandera (with value-added counting for 50% of teachers’ evaluation scores), was unfair, error-ridden, spurious, harming teachers, and depriving students of high-quality educators, among other claims (see the actual lawsuithere). Again, I’m serving as the expert witness on the side of the plaintiffs in this suit.
As you all likely also recall, in December of 2015, State District Judge David K. Thomson granted a preliminary injunction preventing consequences from being attached to the state’s teacher evaluation data. More specifically, Judge Thomson ruled that the state could proceed with “developing” and “improving” its teacher evaluation system, but the state was not to make any consequential decisions about New Mexico’s teachers using the data the state collected until the state (and/or others external to the state) could evidence to the court during another trial (initially set for April 2016, then postponed to October 2016, and likely to be postponed again) that the system is reliable, valid, fair, uniform, and the like (see prior post on this ruling here).
Well, many of you have (since these prior posts) written requesting updates regarding this lawsuit, and here is one as released jointly by the AFT and ATF. This accurately captures the current and ongoing situation:
Read the entire blog post here: New Mexico Lawsuit Update | VAMboozled!
If only the MLB was as meticulous with its bookkeeping as it is with its player stats.
The professional baseball organization’s PAC, the Office of the Commissioner of Major League Baseball PAC, is now correcting past errors, reporting at least $19,000 worth of political contributions it had failed to share with the FEC over the past eight years, according to an OpenSecrets Blog review of recent amendments filed by the PAC’s new treasurer …read more: MLB a little late to the game with FEC filings | OpenSecrets Blog
The last-minute pleas for donations seems to have paid off (literally): The committee organizing the Republican National Convention in Cleveland this year raised $65.7 million, more than was given for each of the previous two powwows: In 2012, the Tampa host committee raised $55.2 million, while 2008’s St. Paul festivities attracted about $61.3 million. The Cleveland 2016 host committee spent about $49.8 million.
… read more: RNC covered its convention costs, but some who gave in 2012 stayed away | OpenSecrets Blog
Count former House Speaker John Boehner as the latest not-quite-a-lobbyist.
For nearly a decade, the number of registered lobbyists has slipped each year. This summer, the figure finally dipped below 10,000 — the lowest it’s been since the Center for Responsive Politics began keeping track in 1998.
And that drop in lobbyists has been accompanied by a dropoff in revenue, painting a numerical picture of an industry seemingly in pronounced decline …read more: Boehner joins the not-quite-a-lobbyist ranks | OpenSecrets Blog
Many polls suggest the presidential race has gotten closer in recent weeks, but the financial status of the two campaigns and their allies is far less competitive.
Since Citizens United and other court decisions beginning in 2010 changed the landscape of federal campaign finance, it makes sense to look at presidential financing as a three-legged stool. The campaigns themselves, while still central, are supplemented and occasionally surpassed by the national party committees and independent outside groups that exist only to support one of the candidates.
Click here to read the full article: Team Blue routing Team Red in presidential fundraising, unlike 2012 | OpenSecrets Blog
Is the Fear of Trump Rational?
by John Laurits
“We must stop Trump!” Sound familiar? I think I get at least a few emails per-day from liberal organizations which use that exact phrase — usually in the first paragraph, too! And — frankly — I’m getting a bit tired of them (especially when they’re using the phrase to solicit donations for Clinton). It’s not only my inbox, though. […]
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John Laurits | September 26, 2016 at 7:55 pm | Tags: Clinton, debates, donald trump, Donald Trump as president, Fear, President Donald Trump, What would happen | Categories: news | URL: http://wp.me/p5FXIJ-Ew