MinnCAN: The Minnesota Campaign for Achievement Now today released a statewide opinion poll revealing 90-plus-percent, bipartisan support among Minnesotans for education reforms that would allow teachers and principals to be hired, fired and paid based on the academic progress of their students.
Today Minnesota is one of a handful of states that requires decisions about who to hire, promote or even lay off in public schools to be made solely based on years on the job.
Top line poll results include:
- 95 percent of respondents think that student learning progress should be important in determining teachers’ salaries.
- 96 percent believe student learning progress should be an important factor in determining which teachers to lay off first.
- 92 percent say school officials should have more flexibility to remove poorly performing teachers.
- 92 percent think that student learning progress should be an important factor in evaluating the performance of a school principal.
Student learning progress is defined as measures of improvement in knowledge, study skills, test scores and grades.
“Minnesotans are commonsense people and they resoundingly support commonsense school staffing policies,” said MinnCAN Executive Director Vallay Varro. “The legislature and the governor have an opportunity this year to respond to the people and begin using Minnesota’s new teacher evaluation system to finally staff public schools based on job performance.”
MinnCAN commissioned the random sampling of 1,000 Minnesotans to gather comprehensive public opinion on K–12 public school teacher and principal performance, preferred evaluation methods and retention.
Last month, MinnCAN announced its 2012 legislative campaign, The Playbook for Education in Minnesota. The campaign calls for rewarding great teachers, ending seniority-based layoffs and connecting principal evaluations to teacher performance and student achievement.
About the poll
Researchers conducted the poll in December 2011. Respondents included registered voters in Minnesota and the total sample size was 1,000, stratified by age and gender to correspond with state population estimates:
• N = 600 online throughout Minnesota: to improve representation of population without landline phones, particularly in younger age and ethnically diverse group.
• N = 400 by phone throughout Minnesota: random digit dial selection.
The margin of error for the sample was ± 4 percent.
The large sample size is proportionate to state census data including respondents by region, gender and age, education level and political party affiliation, although survey sample representation for non-metro areas and Democrats were slightly higher.
To see more poll results or to learn more about MinnCAN’s 2012 campaign, visit www.MinnesotaPlaybook.org.
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.