ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — The teachers union, Education Minnesota, has come out with an action plan to address the state’s achievement gap.
Among the steps, President Tom Dooher outlined at a state capitol news conference Tuesday are all-day, every-day kindergarten statewide, lower class sizes and support services, like medical screenings and wellness programs in the schools.
“It is within our grasp to close the achievement gap in the state of Minnesota. We can do this, but only if everyone recognizes the complexity of the issue and only if everyone agrees that we have a shared responsibility to solve it,” said Dooher.
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The union also proposes annual performance reviews of teachers, using various measures including student test scores.
“I think a lot of Minnesotans would be surprised to learn that many teachers go years without a performance review. That failure is inexcusable,” Dooher said.
In addition, Education Minnesota announced its support of alternative licensing that would increase the ranks of teachers in less time than the traditional method. But Dooher says a number of standards would need to be met.
“What we’re not OK with is people experimenting with our students just because you have a desire to teach,” said Dooher.