Petition Closed
Petitioning Minority Leader, Minnesota House of Representatives Paul Thissen and 10 others

Minnesota: Don't Let Teacher Effectiveness Get Lost in the Political Crossfire

1,491
Supporters

With the end of the legislative session swiftly approaching, political stalemate continues to get in the way of education reform in Minnesota.

The Governor and legislature still cannot find common ground on Minnesota’s budget, and that disagreement is keeping them from talking about an important policy for Minnesota’s kids: building a robust teacher evaluation system.

One of the first and most important steps to ensure that every Minnesota student has access to a great public school is to provide excellent teachers. Unfortunately we can't identify where Minnesota's great teachers are teaching, or what they're successful at because our teacher evaluation systems are disjointed, inconsistent, and rarely incorporate evidence of student learning.

As a result, top teachers are seldom recognized for their skills, and struggling teachers do not receive the support or guidance they need to improve their teaching.

Minnesota leaders have two options: they can either make a deal on the omnibus bill before midnight on Monday, May 23, when the session officially ends, or they can head into special session and take up the issue there. Either way, they will eventually have to come up with a compromise.

It’s up to us to make sure that deal, whenever it’s made, includes a teacher evaluation system.

Tell the Governor and the legislative leadership that teacher effectiveness has to get done this year!

Letter to
Minority Leader, Minnesota House of Representatives Paul Thissen
Deputy Majority Leader, Minnesota State Senate Geoff Michel
Assistant Minority Leader, Minnesota State Senate Terri Bonoff
and 8 others
Deputy Minority Leader, Minnesota House of Representatives Debra Hilstrom
Majority Leader, Minnesota State Senate Amy Koch
Majority Leader, Minnesota House of Representatives Matt Dean
Speaker of the Minnesota House of Representatives Kurt Zellers
Chair, Minnesota House of Representatives Education Committee Sondra Erickson
Minority Leader, Minnesota State Senate Tom Bakk
Chair, Minnesota State Senate Education Committee Gen Olsen
Chair, Minnesota House of Representatives Education Committee Pat Garofalo
With just days remaining in the legislative session, the window for passing a robust teacher evaluation policy is closing rapidly. I urge you to work with other Minnesota leaders to make sure a teacher evaluation system is enacted, whether as a part of the education omnibus bill or as a standalone bill.

One of the first and most important steps to ensure that every Minnesota student has access to a great public school is to provide excellent teachers. Unfortunately we can't identify where Minnesota's great teachers are teaching, or what they're successful at because our teacher evaluation systems are disjointed, inconsistent, and rarely incorporate evidence of student learning. As a result, top teachers are seldom recognized for their skills, and struggling teachers do not receive the support or guidance they need to improve their teaching. Administrators rarely use data to assess teachers' effectiveness in the classroom or their contributions to student learning, and typically do not differentiate teachers based on their performance.

Passing a robust teacher evaluation system is one of the most important things Minnesota can accomplish this year. Republicans and Democrats alike support these reforms. But it is not going to happen unless leaders from both sides step forward now and commit to making it a top priority.

With the remaining days of the legislative session, I urge you to make sure teacher evaluations get passed and signed into law this year. We cannot let disagreement on other issues get in the way of passing a smart policy with bipartisan support, especially when it will provide educators and administrators with the trusted information they need to give Minnesota's students the best education possible.