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Legal Fair planned

Area residents can receive some free legal advice this Friday. The Chaves County Free Legal Fair will occur at the Roswell Adult & Recreation Center, 807 N. Missouri Ave., from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Attorneys and legal staff will answer questions on a range of topics, including divorce, child support, immigration, power of attorney documents, wills and creditor-debtor issues. The services are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Bilingual staff will be available, and sign-language interpreters can be requested by contacting the New Mexico Center for Language Access at eldora@nmcenterforlanguageaccess.org. The event is sponsored by the 5th Judicial District Pro Bono Committee of Chaves County and the Volunteer Attorney Program. Call 505-814-5033 for more information.

Public Education Department Announces Achievements

The teacher evaluation system used for public K12 schools in the state has received national recognition, the New Mexico Public Education Department announced. The agency also indicated that it will provide an additional $7.7 million to schools, including some in Dexter and Roswell, to help at-risk students.

The state’s teacher evaluation system, NMTEACH, was chosen as one of two model evaluation systems in the country by the National Council on Teacher Quality.

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“New Mexico is an example to other states who may be uncertain about protecting research-based teacher quality initiatives,” said Kate Walsh, president of the national group. “They have shown that holding to core principles, setting a high bar, listening to educators and offering support can translate to significant increases in teacher quality and therefore student achievement.”

NMTEACH was implemented five years ago and measures teacher effectiveness using administrator observations, evidence of student academic growth, attendance records and parent survey responses. As a result of using the evaluation system, teachers and students are becoming more proficient, the state education department says. Now, 1,000 more teachers rank as “highly effective” or “exemplary” and 11,000 more students are scoring proficient in math and 13,000 more are scoring proficient in English.

The Public Education Department also announced it is strengthening efforts to serve at-risk students by allocating another $7.7 million for at-risk students through the Direct Student Services initiative. For the current 2018-19 academic year, $3.3 million in grants have been awarded to 36 schools in 18 districts. The remaining $4.4 million will be allocated next academic year.

The Direct Student Services initiative is part of the state’s education plan submitted to the federal Department of Education under the Every Student Succeeds Act. The state plan was recognized by the government as one of the best in the nation. The initiative will aid students by providing tutoring with high-quality teachers, targeted instruction and, in some rural areas, transportation to students to allow them to participate in learning opportunities outside normal school hours.

ENMU receives 10 top ratings

A research firm that publishes information about online educational programs has given Eastern New Mexico University 10 No. 1 rankings for 2019.

SR Education Group has unveiled its 2019 rankings on GuidetoOnlineSchools.com. The rankings include 861 unique schools on the “Best” and “Most Affordable” lists.

ENMU was ranked No. 1 for Best Online College in New Mexico. The University also received No. 1 rankings for having the most affordable online bachelor’s degree programs in management, finance, engineering, accounting, business, sociology, aviation and hospitality management and the most affordable online master’s degree program in English.

ENMU was ranked No. 2 for the most affordable online bachelor’s degree programs in marketing, history and social work and No. 3 for the most affordable online master’s degree program in communications and online bachelor’s degrees in general. The University was ranked No. 5 for most affordable online colleges and No. 9 for most affordable online MBA degrees.

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