Minnesota is one step closer to keeping its greatest teachers in the game. The House of Representatives and State Senate have passed H. F. 1870, which would use Minnesota’s new statewide teacher evaluation system to protect high-performing teachers from layoffs.
Today, decisions about who to hire, promote or even lay off when faced with budget deficits are based solely on seniority, with little attention paid to teacher performance.
This bill is an important first step to using our new teacher evaluation system to reform our staffing structure for Minnesota educators.
The new evaluations provide school leaders and districts with trusted information on who their top teachers are, but we need to connect it with meaningful reforms to Minnesota’s teacher tenure law to make a true difference for our kids.
The bill is now headed to Governor Dayton's desk and we’re about to make Minnesota history and reward and retain our highest-performing teachers during critical layoff decisions.
This is the final round in the fight to keep our great teachers - please tell Governor Dayton to sign H.F. 1870 into law!
- Minnesota Governor
You have an important opportunity to help Minnesota school districts keep the best teachers in their classrooms, especially when they face tough layoff decisions. I urge you to sign into law H.F. 1870 and reform Minnesota's outdated teacher layoff model so that teacher quality drives those decisions.
Minnesota's first statewide teacher evaluation framework (law H.F. 26) will provide school leaders and districts with a trusted system to make personnel decisions based on teacher performance. This is a critical step forward, but it is not enough. An evaluation system will only drive gains in student achievement if we use it to reward quality.
It is our moral obligation to provide every Minnesota student with highly effective teachers. However, our schools are compromised by the inability to keep the teachers who will best serve their students. Minnesota is one of only 11 states that require districts to use seniority as the deciding factor in layoff decisions. In the face of financial hardship, Minnesotans must end seniority-based layoffs and use our new teacher evaluation system to keep our best teachers in the classroom.
Minnesota law H.F. 26 created the foundation for a system that will recognize, reward and retain teachers who perform well. It includes peer reviews, summative assessments, value-added assessment models that measure student growth, portfolios of teacher and student work, and improvement timelines for ineffective teachers.
H.F. 1870, which would go into effect three years after the teacher evaluation system is in place, will help ensure a great teacher teaches every child. Contrary to what critics say, H.F. 1870 does not abandon seniority, rather it places teacher performance and effectiveness as the primary factor in a layoff decision and seniority secondary.
Thank you for your leadership on such a critical issue. I hope that I can count on your support of H.F. 1870!
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