It’s official: our state is on its way to putting a great teacher in every classroom. Yesterday Governor Dayton signed our bill into law to open alternative paths to teacher certification, the first victory for our Minnesota School Emergency in Effect campaign.
Because of this bill, if an economics major from one of our country’s best universities wants to teach seventh grade math in one of our struggling public schools, he can demonstrate his math proficiency by passing a reliable test instead of spending months retaking unnecessary classes because he wasn’t a math major. Most importantly, we’ll begin to build a leadership pipeline and promote a different culture within teaching –important first steps in closing Minnesota’s shameful achievement gap.
This kind of victory is not easily won. It took active endorsement by over 1200 advocates like you and courageous leadership from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to pass a law that will help put an outstanding teacher in every Minnesota classroom.
But filling our schools with quality teachers is just the beginning. Now we must turn our attention to building a trusted system that guarantees great teaching.
In today’s Minnesota, administrators rarely base teacher evaluations on effectiveness or differentiate teachers based on performance. What’s more, the majority of Minnesota educators rarely receive recognition or support as a result of their evaluations.
We need legislation that builds a barometer of teacher effectiveness to drive classroom improvement and cultivate great teachers. Please speak up for Minnesota’s children once again by urging your legislators to make student performance the primary criterion of teacher evaluations.
Yesterday we proved we know how to tackle what ails our schools, and alternative teacher certification is a great start. But it is just a start. Please continue to campaign with us to give all of Minnesota’s children the great teachers and schools they deserve, including a trusted evaluation system to tell us exactly how well they are performing.