MinnCAN is a part of 50CAN: The 50-State Campaign for Achievement Now.

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MINNEAPOLIS, MN—Today MinnCAN: The Minnesota Campaign for Achievement Now released a new policy brief, ‘Valuing Our Best: Rethinking Minnesota’s Teacher Layoff Law.’ The brief synthesizes national research on seniority-based layoff policies, and illustrates how Minnesota’s current teacher layoff law could be improved to better serve both teachers and students. It also includes anecdotes from Minnesota educators who have been harmed by the state’s quality-blind layoff system, which legislators from both political parties are currently working to reform.

Click here to read the full brief.

Some facts highlighting how quality-blind layoffs negatively impact student learning include:

  • Five out of six teachers removed under seniority-based layoffs would have remained in the classroom under an effectiveness-based system.
  • Teachers laid off under a seniority-based system would produce an extra 2.5 to 3.5 months of learning for students, on average, compared to teachers who would have been laid off under an effectiveness-based system.
  • When a highly effective teacher is laid off from a low-performing school, only one out of 11 replacement candidates will be as effective as the laid off teacher.
  • Every time a district retains the most effective teacher rather than just the most senior, the district’s students will gain $2.1 million in collective lifetime earnings.

According to the brief, “Reforming the layoff process is not a silver bullet for strengthening our schools. A comprehensive solution must address many other priorities, including improving teacher preparation, supporting educators through targeted, high-quality professional development and giving administrators flexibility to make personnel decisions in the best interests of their students. However, when layoffs are necessary—which they sometimes are, for reasons beyond districts’ control—students deserve a policy that keeps their best teachers in the classroom.”

Access the full policy brief here.

For more information or interviews with MinnCAN Executive Director Daniel Sellers, contact Ariana Kiener: 612-666-3066 or ariana.kiener@minncan.org.

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About MinnCAN: Launched in 2011, MinnCAN: The Minnesota Campaign for Achievement Now is an education advocacy nonprofit. MinnCAN is a movement of nearly 12,000 Minnesotans–and growing–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.


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