On April 19th, 2010 Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty revealed an education reform bill meant to improve Minnesota’s education system and ensure its spot as a serious contender in round two of Race to the Top. The bill includes major areas of reform:
1. Teacher Quality and Effectiveness
2. Alternative Pathways to Teacher Licensure
3. Tiered Licensure for Teachers and Principals
4. Statewide Teacher and Principal Evaluation System and Enhanced Q Comp
5. Professional Development and Continuing Tenure for Teachers and Principals
6. Authority to Intervene in Persistently Low Performing Schools
7. Allow Successful Charter Schools to Open Additional Sites
The Governor was intentional in pointing out that many of these areas of reform have been introduced by him to the legislature in the 2009 and 2010 legislative sessions as well as pointing out that many of these measures have been adopted by Democratic governors in states such as Delaware. This was done perhaps in an attempt to woo unions and legislative Democrats that may have issues with reform ideas.
Minnesota’s first round Race to the Top application received good marks for our charter school environment, strong standards and assessments and Q Comp performance pay for teachers system, and our focus on…science, technology, engineering and math subjects.
The federal reviewers docked Minnesota’s application for failing to have alternative pathways to teacher licensure, not strongly linking student achievement to teacher evaluations, failing to define ‘highly effective teachers’, incomplete teacher preparation programs, an inability to intervene in failing schools and lack of support from teacher unions. [Quotes taken from Governor Pawlenty’s News Release, April 19th, 2010.]
Poking Teachers Unions In The Eye” Not Helpful Says Rep. Greiling
Rep. Mindy Greiling gives her response immediately following Governor Pawlenty’s announcement of an Education Reform Bill for Race to the Top.