Vallay Varro was a founding state executive director. She now serves as the president of 50CAN.

In hockey, players look to their coach to call the plays that position the team to win. In Minnesota, parents and students looked to Gov. Dayton to run a winning play to retain the state’s greatest teachers. But he let them down: This evening Gov. Dayton vetoed H.F. 1870, a bill that would have used Minnesota’s teacher evaluation system to protect highly effective teaches from layoffs.

Minnesota students can’t afford to lose their best teachers. Research shows a student taught by a great teacher for a single school year may gain up to a full year’s worth of additional academic growth compared to a student taught by a less effective teacher. Research also shows that the first three to five years of teaching are critical in the development of a great teacher, but after that the number of years in the classroom provides little indication about a teacher’s effectiveness.

Instead of doing what’s right for Minnesota students, Gov. Dayton let a winning play for schools fall through the cracks.

He ignored the 2,000-plus Minnesotans like you who asked him to support H.F. 1870. He ignored the 91 percent of Minnesotans who say that teacher performance should be the most important factor in layoffs. He ignored the policymakers from both sides of the aisle who stood up for reform. Now, Minnesota schools are still handicapped by a law that forbids them to consider teacher performance when making critical staffing decisions.

We’ll be back next year to fight on behalf of teachers who are posting learning gains and whittling away at Minnesota’s staggering achievement gaps. We’ll need you on the team again. Thanks for your support and standing up for this winning play for Minnesota children.


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