Minn. Teachers Watch Chicago Strike with Eyes on Evaluations
Minnesota teachers are watching the Chicago teacher strike closely, especially on the teacher evaluation front. Last year, a bill passed in Minnesota that will change how our teachers are graded.
The statewide teacher's union, Education Minnesota, says Minnesota's new evaluation system could serve as a model for Chicago and the rest of the country.
The new system will roll out during the 2014 - 2015 school year. According to the new law, 35 percent of a teacher's evaluation will be tied to student performance. Evaluators must also have required training.
Currently a committee is ironing out the details of how it will be implemented. The group is made up of educators, business leaders and community members.
"The statewide committee is looking at research based models and research based segments to make sure what they have is something that can be universally put across the state," said Tom Dooher, President of Education Minnesota.
"It needs to be tied to the retention policies of teachers. Having an evaluation that is meaningless and is not used in the decision of which teachers to hire and which ones to fire, that doesn't really work for kids," said Representative Pat Garofalo, Chair of the House Education Finance Committee and co-author of the 2011 bill.
The committee's recommendations are expected by the end of the year. Individual districts will be able to determine their own models of evaluation, as long as they are in line with the standards set by the law.
Minnesota is one of about a dozen states that allows teachers to strike.