Vallay Varro, executive director of MinnCAN: the Minnesota Campaign for Achievement Now, made the following statement on Governor Dayton vetoing House File 1870:
“Today Gov. Dayton departed from state legislators and the vast majority of Minnesotans who believe teacher performance should be the number-one factor in a layoff decision – not seniority. His veto flies in the face of what research has proven: teachers are the most important in-school factor for student success. He let our great teachers down, he let our children down and he halted Minnesota’s important work in alleviating the second-worst achievement gap in the country.
“By vetoing H.F. 1870, a measure that would have used Minnesota’s teacher evaluation system to reward and retain our highest-performing teachers during layoffs, the governor has stalled our progress and penalized our kids. Quality-blind layoffs are outdated and antiquated state mandates. They are of no benefit to Minnesota students, who need great talent in front of the classroom, and are impenetrable barriers that prevent great teachers from teaching.
“As a state, we need to reaffirm our value to provide a high-quality education for all students. Gov. Dayton proved to be a strong leader on education policies last session but has unfortunately lost sight of Minnesota student’s best interest this year.”
In February 2012 MinnCAN announced the findings of its statewide public opinion poll of 1,000 Minnesotans on school staffing decisions. Minnesotans spoke in a unified, bipartisan voice: 91 percent said that teacher performance should be the most important factor in layoff decisions and 79 percent believe that seniority-based layoffs hurt the quality of education for students.
H.F. 1870 would have leveraged Minnesota’s new teacher evaluation system to help inform school leaders on staffing decisions during a layoff. Minnesota signed into law the new teacher evaluation system in 2011.
For interviews with Vallay Varro, contact Nicholas Banovetz at: (651) 815-5999 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About MinnCAN: Launched in January 2011, MinnCAN: The Minnesota Campaign for Achievement Now is an education reform advocacy organization. MinnCAN is building a movement of Minnesotans dedicated to creating the political will to enact smart public policies to ensure that every Minnesota child has access to a great public school. Learn more at www.minncan.org.