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Dayton says he won’t negotiate on LIFO

Gov. Mark Dayton
Courtesy of the Governor’s OfficeGov. Mark Dayton

Gov. Mark Dayton today said that as the Legislature heads into its final days he is open to compromise on any issue except the proposal to end seniority-based teacher layoffs in Minnesota.

The governor made his remarks during a press conference about the proposed Vikings Stadium, according to Capitol reporters.

Lawmakers had been withholding final passage of the measure to allow time for a compromise to be brokered. The governor’s wish list for the current, off-year session has been short and the bill, popularly dubbed LIFO for “last-in, first out,” is too “clean” to contain much wiggle room.

Lobbyists for several education organizations said they were not surprised by Dayton’s impromptu remarks. The governor has said repeatedly that passage of the measure was premature. The performance evaluations the bill proposed be used to lay off less effective teachers first is still under development.

Citing public support for an end to quality-blind layoffs, a number of advocacy groups have been engaged in advertising campaigns on the issue and have asked followers to call the governor to urge he reconsider. For more about the bill, go here.

Comments (6)

  1. Submitted by Alec Timmerman on 04/25/2012 - 04:21 pm.

    It is about using student test scores for high stakes HR choices

    First, when we know that if a poor kid can’t read by grade level t 3rd grade they are 13 times more likely to drop out, isn’t it telling that we don’t care that kindergartners are funded at 51% of a person? It speaks volumes that this is what is emphasized, and will still don’t fund targeted pre-k.

    We know the new valuation system, passed last year, must be 35% based on student test scores. Using that type of evaluation for hiring and firing is the problem.

    The National Research Council, part of the National Academies, says using test scores for hiring and firing decisions is wrong.

    The Rand Research Group says don’t do it.

    The Educational Testing Services says don’t use these types of evaluations for hiring and firing.

    Commissioner Cassilius, who has devoted her life to helping poor kids, says we need to be cautious.

    Terri Bonoff/Student’s First, and ALEC can preach from their privileged suburban seats all they want, but until they start fighting for early childhood as hard as they are against the unions I think we know where their priorities are. I mean, the utter nerve of someone like Bonoff telling Cassilius that her position is indefensible.

    Dayton and Cassilius are defended by research. Bonoff and her ilk are defended by ALEC.

    The sorting of students is not random. One year I might be assigned the easiest students, the next the more challenging. My test scores have always looked better in years when my job has been easier. My test scores may have looked worse some years, when I have actually done a better, harder job.

    • Submitted by Logan Foreman on 04/25/2012 - 04:55 pm.

      Agree completely

      In the first place, those persons to be judged should at least know exactly how they will be judged. Is that so much to ask? Secondly, depending on the location, how much of the parent’s job has become the teacher’s job? Are they paid to do the parent’s job? Finally, what do multiple choice tests prove? Students in this country pay money to learn how to take these tests, and not for the purpose of determining what they know about the subject. Good guesses count. 10 times more work needs to be done before coming up with a fair evaluation procedure for teachers. I will guarantee that most legislators would not even come close to passing any minimum test for teaching – just read the newspapers.

  2. Submitted by Robert Gauthier on 04/25/2012 - 05:43 pm.

    Where are the JOBS bills

    Why isn’t everyone screaming this at the legislature, all this ALEC crap and god, guns and gays nonsense and NOTHING on what the Republicans claimed to be wanting to do, more jobs.

    Give them an F, and use LIFO on them.

  3. Submitted by James Hamilton on 04/25/2012 - 07:38 pm.

    There is no rush and no reason

    to end LIFO until a new system is agreed upon as its replacement. Any such system must include some safeguards for employees, possibly one in which a senior teacher with a rating equivalent to a junior teacher in the same field is retained. As in any field requiring judgment, quality cannot be reduced to a formula. In close calls, I’d give the edge to experience rather than cost.

    Of course, revamping the way in which teachers are compensated should also be considered, including ending the assumption that a teacher’s area of expertise is irrelevant. With all due respect to the two men who tried to teach me physical education in high school, it’s hard to argue that their skills and abilities were as important to my education as those of the man who taught me not only history, but why it’s important.

  4. Submitted by Herbert Davis on 04/26/2012 - 10:30 am.

    I repeat!

    As a union grievance rep for many years, I NEVER encountered an instance of the administration trying to get rid of a teacher they said was ineffective or incompetent. They usually went after folks who held a position for which they had a candidate they’d like to hire. Almost every other case was either lost(by the administration) or settled because the administration violated their own rules or due process rights under contract.

    I think Dayton probably knows how “concerned about quality” most administrators really are!

    Without seniority, most union activists would be history!

  5. Submitted by Rich Crose on 04/26/2012 - 01:44 pm.

    A Fish Rots from the Head Down

    If the teachers aren’t doing their jobs look at the Principals. If the Principals aren’t doing their jobs, look at the School Administrators. The people supervising the School Administrators are Legislators who keep cutting budgets and dictating how to teach.

    You can’t blame a teacher when the school district cuts their support staff and training after the legislature cuts their budget. Its like Republican’s blaming the SEC for not doing its job during the bank meltdown after they cut its budget by 50%.

    Also, the CEO of United Health Group makes in one year the equivalent of 950 full time teachers. A corporation should never, ever complain about an uneducated workforce.

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