ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Senate has passed a bill that would let schools lay off teachers based on performance.

The bill passed in a 36-26 vote. It would let school districts make layoff decisions based on teacher evaluations that consider student performance. Current state law requires that schools only consider teacher seniority, unless individual districts negotiate their own arrangements to consider other factors.

Sen. Pam Wolf, a Republican who sponsored the bill, says it lets schools keep the most effective teachers.

Democrats expressed concern that the right evaluation tools are not in place. They said a state teacher evaluation system being developed needs more time.

The House passed a similar bill earlier this month.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (54)
  1. Dale Gribble says:

    The public indoctirination system should be closed immediately. White Christian children have their rights violated every day by the atheist liberal teachers unions.

    1. hmpk says:

      White Christian children are not the only children in schools so what is your point? Aren’t you stereotyping teachers? I don’t think Jesus does that!

      1. Dale Gribble says:

        Typical liberal atheist response. This country was founded by White Christians for White Christians. Why do you hate American so much?

        1. Tom says:

          @ Dale Gribble

          Typical nutty conservative response. Liberals dont hate America because we actually believe in Freedom for all, not like conservatives who believe in Freedom only for those who only look at America like they do.

    2. Tom says:

      @ Dale Gribble

      Sort of like how the private school system teaches their students from the conservative point of view. Which is not based on fact but fantasy!

    3. Kevin says:

      Good God man……what whtie children? Your in MN now son……There are no white children left…..

    4. Pundit says:


      Muslims can go to Muslim schools.
      Christians can go to Christian schools.
      Atheists can go to secular schools.

      It’s called diversity and freedom.

    5. fox says:

      white christian children have their rights violated everyday! did you really just say that! wow! your a real credit to the human race buddy! I think you need to go have your head checked! have you seen the photo of the pope shaking hands with Hitler? its probably hanging on your wall….

      1. Paul says:

        You guys are all getting trolled so hard. First time on the internet?

  2. chuck says:

    Well, if you are a teacher, let’s hope that you do not have to disipline, or tick off the son or daughter of an administrator, school board member, or other influencial member of the community because no matter if you are right or effective as a teacher, your evaluation will be bad enogh for you to get laid off.
    That people is NOT progress in education!!!!

    1. Lagerhops says:

      …or make maximum salary.

    2. Citizen says:

      A teacher worth keeping not only knows how educate our children, they are able to keep order in his or her class room. This includes knowing how to communicate to the student(s) and their parents what happened and what needs to be done to prevent future problems.

      For the teachers we need to keep, this shouldn’t be an issue.

    3. Mark G. says:

      Right, that happens all the time in the private sector…uhm…it never happens.

  3. maxey says:

    What a novel thought: have teachers evaluated based on their performance, like everyone else. Unlike most everyone else, however, teachers have a framework to contest these decisions, to make sure they are made for proper reasons. “Ticking off the son or daughter of an administrator?” Give me a break.

  4. lebrok says:

    Good, now lets start to do the same for legislators

    1. Mark G. says:

      We get a chance every 2 years to vote out the clows. The problem is all the dems and reps seem to care about is status quo. MN people are so stupid that they think because someone is part of a political party, they must be better than anyone who isn’t.

      1. Tom says:

        @ Mark G

        Actually it is the conservatives who want to continue with the status quo as they view any change as bad.

  5. Paul says:

    Amazing how our MN House and Senate is spending so much time on this type of legislature. What a waste of time. Soooo….what happens when this law is first tested by a school district? Say they layoff a teacher that has been teaching for 20 years that has a Masters Degree. (teachers with Masters Degrees get better pay) How much do you think a lawsuit by this teacher against the school district would cost? Even though this law sort of makes sense. It just being pushed because teachers unions support the Democrats.

    1. Pat says:

      So, keep the status quo and nev improve? I thought school was for the children no matter difficult it may be. Don’t be scared.

  6. Kman says:

    Good Now for the Under Preformers in the MN House and Senate Next Time you shut Down the State for NOT doing your Jobs just don’t come Back and when the Law Suites Fly Because of this Ignorant Law we should just Take the Legal cost from your Pay Checks

    1. aethelbert says:

      PLEASE tell me you aren’t a teacher after typing that grammatical nightmare.

  7. G Dog says:

    They’re going to do this in the medical field for vasectomies. So line up guys to get snipped by the person with the LEAST experience!!!

    1. J says:

      You could also argue who would you want to get snipped by – the person with the most up to date knowledge or the one just hanging around to collect a paycheck.

      1. G Dog says:

        The young ones care about getting it done. The oldsters care about getting it done right.

    2. Brad says:

      What do you call the person who graduated last in medical school?

      Answer: Doctor

  8. Rufus Larkin says:

    Not a big deal. Many of these layed off teachers can step right in an become a CATHOLIC PRIEST!

  9. JB says:

    It doesn’t matter! VETO VETO VETO! And then come election time the Republicans will be looking for a job with all the rest of the people out there!

  10. check out the schools says:

    Ok, so now when we get into the inner city where the kids don’t give a $h!* about school, when they all flunk out the teacher is the one responsable?? Nope. But with this garbage laws they’re passing, he/she will be!! First off, make sure they have the equipment to teach, books and things I’m refering to. After Pawpaw got out of office there were some schools in St Paul that only had enough textbooks for one classroom at each level. That left 2 classrooms with no books. How can they learn?? Then he sent his henchmen in there with his famous “Underachieving school” BS. It was HIS fault with his education cuts that they didn’t have enough stuff for these kids to learn. But then again, with all the teacher cuts under him they had 30 to 40 and in high schools up to 50 kids per class. But some of you people expect one teacher to be able to teach effectivly a class this size?? and that was almost every hour, 6 to 7 hours per day and some of you people think they are overpaid??? Like the Republicans, you need to get in touch with reality.

  11. Wake Up says:

    Why is this an issue to certain people – because those screaming about it most likely are the slackers who aren’t doing there job, but have been there for 5, 10 or 20 years and don’t think they need to. Most people have performanced based reviews so why should teachers who salaries I pay with my tax dollars be treated any differently.

    1. Kevin says:

      I highly doubt you make enough money to pay for anyone’s salary through your taxes.

      Yes you pay taxes…but that entitles you to ownership and/or mgmt of NOTHING.


      1. GH says:

        I’m not saying that because I pay taxes that I should get to decide the fate of state paid employees, but every other non union job out there is based on performance. It only makes since to hold teachers accountable. I don’t think that they should be canned after a year of poor test scores or anything, but if they are putting up bad performance reviews year after year then it’s time to replace them with someone new and eager to do the job right.

      2. alright says:

        Get over yourself Kevin…obviously he meant that his taxes collectively with everyone else’s taxes pay the teachers salaries. Your argument is mute and your computer is now taken away and put upstairs in your parents bedroom.

    2. :Liz Stock says:

      I have been working in education for over 20 years and I don’t have a problem with this based on the teachers performance but not students. Some of the best teachers I have ever worked with take the hardest students who don’t show the same acedemic growth as their peers. If we start penelizing teachers who take on more challenging students no one will want them and then where will be be……..

      1. jackactionhero says:

        Is that really what you got out of this article? For real?

  12. Hank Rearden says:

    The worst thing for the kids is the teachers union. Same with taxpayer.

  13. Kevin says:

    Vote “YES”….to accountability! At the same time….fire everyone at the state capitol and have a do over! Have Dayton go off and spend his millions buying Russian Boy Toys……then take all the Dem’s and move them all to Riverside and Cedar……to enjoy that good ol’ diversity they love so much…..then take all the GOP and get them jobs at the Gay 90’s…..They can dance there every Friday night!… it the “Friday Fake Family Value Night”……for the encore…they can take turns playing hide the gerbal while singing the U Of M Fight sont…….

  14. dan says:

    OMG,…They just submitted a bill that allows registered democrats to collect disability!

  15. Grynch says:

    Most major employers conduct performance reviews annually. Why should it be any different for a teachers union? If they feel that their job is at stake over a simple performance review they’re obviously uneasy about their own performance as a teacher.

    1. alright says:

      Amen. My wifes cousing was laid off as a teacher even though the parents and kids loved her. Guess who got to stay? The teacher the parents wanted removed and the kids avoided and didn’t want.

      1. alright says:

        I meant cousin. Typing too fast.

  16. alright says:

    How surprising that democrats would be the ones not liking this idea. Always protecting those that should not be protected. If you are a bad teacher you need to go, not the good ones but because you haven’t reached tenure we have to let you go. Same idea with Unions, protect those who don’t do their jobs or expect things they don’t deserve. This of course doesn’t pertain to all teachers or union members but many know what I am talking about.

  17. mlis says:

    My 10th grade English teacher was the worst teacher that I had. Everyday he came to class swearing and calling students stupid. He threw students’ papers in the trash, called them stupid in front of the whole class with no shame at all. He was hardly at the room during class. He left right away to go play with his gay dude (another teacher). They always acted like the classroom was their playground with no one around. Of course, we were sitting in class. We had to bear listing to these teachers chit chat everyday. He had the nerve to say that he didn’t care since no one could fire him. Arrogant and lazy teachers like him should have been fired without any negotiation or evuation.

    1. jackactionhero says:

      “He left right away to go play with his gay dude (another teacher).”

      What is this even supposed to mean?

  18. Bubba says:

    The means to fire incompetent teachers is in place all ready. If Admin. did their job, these teachers would be fired. Every teacher gets observed at least once a year, but more likely if the Admin is good he/she will be circulating the building taking note of what’s going on in the classroom. If this law is enacted, do you really think these Admins. who are incompetent will do a better job to see that the best teachers stay hired? This is just like the voter I.D. law, creating a solution that has a very little problem. I never hear how all you proponents for evaluation want to evaluate. Tests? Grades? Involvement in professional committees? More education? Unlike business, education doesn’t produce goods that are sold. Come up with some answers. Easy to rant, try being constructive and come up with a solution.

    1. shwiehl says:

      Agree completely Bubba. The issue is with administrators hiding behind “teacher tenure” to avoid doing their job. This won’t do anything to improve teachers.

  19. Murph says:

    If they would just make a legislator layoff bill,,everything would br fair and square! Plus it would probably get a LOT MORE use!

  20. See BS says:

    They should base lay-offs on how attractive the Teacher is — just get rid of the frumpy, older and out of shape teachers.

    Keep all the babes!

  21. Too many ads says:

    WCCOS AM plays 27 minutes of advertising for every hour on the air, way too much! There are times that I’ll shut off the radio for a few minutes so I don’t have to rack up constant repeats of 1-800 phone numbers only to turn the radio bak on in five and the next block of commercials are already on! In each hour of air time you get a whopping 4 minutes of repeated phone numbers or CODE: FUN, CODE: FUN, That’s CODE:FUN! CODE:FUN! I’m going to hurl!

  22. You try to teach says:

    The public education in Minnesota is one of the best if not the best in the nation. Don’t fix it if it isn’t broke! I paid my property taxes and never had any children to benefit for it but I will never ever complain about the amount of money needed to do such a good job of educating our future generations! And FYI I do not work for any school system.

  23. jackactionhero says:

    The teacher in the video makes me want to go back to school just to be in her class! Wowza!! xoxoxo

  24. See BS says:

    They just have to start rewarding good students with on-line public homeschooling. (reduce bully problems at the same time)

    That way the kids who are falling behind or not doing their work can show up physically to public schools if they don’t perform.

    Not to mention curb lawsuit money laundering by democrat lawyers.

    Even adults who didn’t finish school can benefit from an on-line public school system.

  25. Hank Rearden says:

    Dems aren’t interested in firing bad teachers. It is aunion thing.

  26. Stanley Peterson says:

    Oh me, will Union Teachers be held to a standard based on performance?. Oh, no we have to go by seniority, not how good they are? Reminds me of the South St. Paul Stockyard strike of 1947? Ufta!

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