The PIE Network requires nonpartisanship as a condition of membership, and election years remind us why. We're not Pollyannas; we just know how politics works. Rarely can just one party pass and sustain reform.
A bill headed to Minnesota's governor's desk illustrates what can happen when partisan politics threaten reform. Many leading states have adopted laws to end quality-blind teacher layoffs ("last in; first out" or LIFO). Minnesota's HF 1870 would reform similar policies in Minnesota, reorganizing layoff factors by licensure, performance, seniority. Yet, even with a statewide teacher evaluation system about to go live, the bill's prospects are uncertain. HF 1870 carries only Republican authors; the Democratic governor called that a "GOP ploy."
Colorado had a winning strategy with similar legislation carried by legislators who cared more about winning reform issues than owning them. CO SB 10-191's authors carefully recruited their legislative sponsor list, securing partisan balance with credibility among educators. The broad-based advocacy coalition that also backed SB 10-191 is now focused on monitoring the law's implementation.
Similarly, Minnesota's governor should focus on the broad civic coalition supporting HF 1870. A MinnCAN poll shows 91% of Minnesotans support performance-based layoffs. Thousands of Minnesotans, working through MinnCAN and other groups, have sent letters urging the Governor to sign HF 1870. And Minnesota's leading newspapers are in favor of protecting great teachers from layoffs.
It should help that HF 1870 reads like those signed by Democratic governors in Illinois and Washington. Let's hope it does-or come January, rather than supporting implementation, Minnesota will have to reboot to make sure great teachers remain in its classrooms.
That this commonsense policy is a nail biter illustrates why PIE Network maintains a bipartisanship approach. Sometimes policymakers do care more about partisanship than issues, and advocates need to stay above that fray. Come January 2013, the balance of leadership in many states will change and, when it does, advocates must be able to influence a new class of policy makers on either sides of the aisle.
Suzanne Tacheny Kubach
Executive Director, PIE Network
Network Jobs and Beyond
ConnCAN is hiring a new Communications Director.
Tennessee SCORE is hiring for a Communications Associate, and a Statewide Outreach Associate.
Advance Illinois has openings for a New Media Specialist and an Outreach Director.
The Broad Foundation is hiring for a Senior Director and an Assistant Director for Education.
Foundation for Excellence in Education has several openings, including Deputy Communications Director for Chiefs for Change in Washington, DC.
National Council on Teacher Quality has an opening for its District Policy Director position.
The Tennessee Department of Education has several openings for an Internal and Constituent Communications Coordinator and a Deputy Communications Director.
The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools is hiring a Chief Executive Officer.
50CAN has several openings, including Founding Executive Director in North Carolina.
Rodel has two open positions, Program Officer- Policy and Senior Program Officer- Communications and Public Engagement. There are also several other education position openings in Delaware.
Mass Insight is hiring for a Director of Marketing Communications.
In the News
More than 400 teachers, administrators and school board members gathered in an Oak Park middle school yesterday for Advance Illinois' lessons in "Making Teacher Evaluations Meaningful for Teachers, for Administrators and for Students."
Ed Trust-West released its latest Annual Report Cards for California School Districts, Grading 147 Largest Districts on Latino, African-American and Low-Income Student Outcomes.
Coalition for a College- and Career-Ready America (CCCRA):
Leveraging the Time Beyond School to Accelerate Student Achievement Webinar
April 19, 2012
2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. EST
Fordham Institute: Education Reform for the Digital Era
April 19, 2012
9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. EST
1016 16th Street NW, 7th Floor
Washington, DC 20036
U.S. ED: Stakeholders Forum on School Improvement Grantees' (SIG) Progress
April 26, 2012
10:00 to 11:30 a.m. EST
LBJ Building, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20202
RSVP via email