Being the policy nerds that we are, team MinnCAN was glued to our televisions last night watching Governor Dayton’s State of the State, which for us is as exciting as the Oscars or the Super Bowl (ok, let’s be honest—maybe even a little more). And as we absorbed the governor’s address, we were especially thrilled to hear him tout the policy victories we celebrated last year as a foundation for future education reforms.
Minnesota’s new teacher evaluation system, which will take into account factors such as student achievement gains, and peer and principal evaluations, is one of those foundation-laying reforms. This new system will help us identify our most effective teachers and lays the groundwork for reforming our state’s teacher layoff model so we keep the very best teachers in the classroom. (Later this afternoon the House will vote on H.F. 1870, which would base teacher layoff decisions on quality, not number of years logged in the system, and it’s not too late to take action! Tell your legislator to vote yes on keeping great teachers where they belong: in the classroom.)
When the governor kicked off his State of the State, he wondered aloud how future Minnesotans will judge our stewardship of our land. He quickly followed up that it’s for us to decide. Education is the bedrock of a thriving community, economy and workforce. It’s also the gateway for every Minnesota student to live in that community, benefit from that economy and contribute to that workforce. We must take hold of meaningful education reforms today to be true stewards of our state.
This year, help us leverage previous policy wins – from MinnCAN and elsewhere – to fuel and accelerate more solutions for Minnesota’s greatest asset: public schools. Our future hinges on the decisions we make now.