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Vallay Varro, executive director of MinnCAN: the Minnesota Campaign for Achievement Now, made the following statement upon the passage of the education omnibus bill, House File 2949:

“H.F. 2949 includes landmark legislation to cultivate strong instructional leadership in Minnesota’s public schools: 35 percent of principal evaluations will now reflect student learning gains.

“In 2011, the Minnesota Legislature passed into law annual principal evaluations and mandated the creation of a work group to develop an evaluation model. The convening of this work group was a critical starting point in the push to ensure that a strong and effective principal leads every school. Thanks to the leadership of the governor and the legislature, we have strengthened the work group’s recommendation and have comprehensive principal evaluations for Minnesota.

“Principals are in the unique position to influence every element of an effective learning environment, and our schools need principals capable of ensuring that all teachers and students perform at the highest levels. The goal of our new evaluation system is to provide a trusted way to assess which principals are thriving and which are faltering so we can support those who need it and recognize those who deserve it.”

The student learning gains component applies to both the state evaluation model and any evaluations agreed to in local district negotiations. The new state model also reflects a principal’s ability to:

  • Establish a vision and mission focused on shared goals and high expectations
  • Provide instructional leadership for high academic performance
  • Support teachers through, among other ways, professional development
  • Build professional, ethical and collaborative relationships based on effective communication
  • Manage resources for systemic performance accountability

In February 2012 MinnCAN announced the findings of its statewide public opinion poll of 1,000 Minnesotans on issues pertaining to teacher and principal performance. Ninety-two percent of Minnesotans said that student learning progress should be an important factor in evaluating the performance of a school principal.

Several legislators helped champion principal evaluations: Sens. Carla Nelson and Terri Bonoff, Reps. Debra Kiel and Carlos Mariani, and Sen. Gen Olson who helped author this bill as her final policy in the Senate.

For interviews with Vallay Varro, contact Nicholas Banovetz at: (651) 815-5999 or nicholas.banovetz@minncan.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.



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