Yesterday MinnCAN Executive Director Vallay Varro made the way to the Capitol to testify on H.F. 945, one of the teacher evaluation bills proposed this year. You can read her full testimony here.
The bill is a solid start to building a barometer for teacher effectiveness because it incorporates these principals:
Requires annual teacher performance evaluations to be completed and feedback provided on teacher performance
A strong requirement for objective evidence of student growth be used as the primary criterion of teacher evaluation
A requirement for annual reporting of students growth and progress
A connection to positive and negative consequences.
Our testimony also included recommendations to move towards having the teacher evaluation framework established at the state-level and lengthening the current probationary period from three years to five before making permanent staffing decisions.
Research (and common sense) tell us that great teachers matter: students assigned to great teachers can learn about three times more in one year than those assigned to the least effective teachers. That's why building a trusted system for giving teachers regular, objective feedback to help them improve is so important.
A victory this year means we must ensure passage of legislation that supports the development of a robust evaluation system.
A home run for Minnesota’s kids would be a robust tool tied to consequences–positive and negative.