By Christopher Magan | Twin Cities Pioneer Press
“Attorneys for parents challenging Minnesota teachers union laws asked an appeals court panel Wednesday to overturn a lower court’s decision to dismiss their case.
St. Paul mother Roxanne Draughn and three other parents from across the Twin Cities filed a lawsuit in April 2016 claiming that teacher tenure and other union rules protect bad teachers and worsen the academic achievement gap.
Last fall, a Ramsey County District Court judge dismissed their case, ruling that the plaintiffs’ lawsuit did not have enough evidence to show the union rules contributed to the achievement gap between poor and minority students and their peers.”
By JESSE McKINLEY and LISA W. FODERARO | The New York Times
“ALBANY — In a potential reprieve for Mayor Bill de Blasio, the New York State Legislature seemed poised to grant two years of mayoral control over New York City’s schools, ending a looming uncertainty over the nation’s largest school system and its 1.1 million students.
The shape of an agreement came into focus late Wednesday night in a special legislative session in Albany that also included deals on issues as diverse as flood relief and help for harness racing.”
By Beena Raghavendran | StarTribune
“The job security shielding veteran teachers makes it difficult to kick out the lousy ones, a group of parents from around Minnesota argues. Those parents are fighting to have their lawsuit against the state heard after a lower court threw it out last fall.
The Minnesota Court of Appeals on Wednesday heard oral arguments in a high-stakes teacher tenure lawsuit, the third of its kind nationally. An attorney for the parents told the appeals court that students’ right to an adequate education calls for dismantling the state’s long-standing tenure laws that can make it difficult to fire bad teachers.”
By Samantha Marcus | NJ.com
“TRENTON — New Jersey legislative budget committees voted Monday to spend an additional $150 million on schools in the state and shift $31 million from ‘overfunded’ to ones that should get more money.
The funding changes, a variation of a plan put forth by state Senate President Stephen Sweeney and state Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto earlier this month, is the centerpiece of Democrats’ state budget bill, passed late Monday by the Senate and Assembly budget committees.”
By Kathryn Green | The StarTribune
“As a school board member, there is nothing more frustrating than having to turn away or let go of an educator we know is effective and leaving a teaching position unfilled. This leads to classes and programs being cut, to the school year starting without teachers in the classroom, and to teachers having to leave their posts even though they’ve proven themselves as great educators — and even though school leaders and students want them to stay.”
By SONDRA ERICKSON AND ERIC PRATT | Twin Cities Pioneer Press
“We are grateful to Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton for his support of the historic education reforms he signed into law that raise the bar, not only to put the best teachers in our classrooms, but also to keep the best teachers in our classrooms. These measures are a fundamental shift toward viewing our educators as true professionals, by recognizing the value of their education, experience and performance in the classroom.”
By Solvejg Wastvedt | MPR News
“New licensing requirements for Minnesota teachers are set to take effect next summer after they were passed as part of the education budget last session.
The changes put more control in the hands of school districts and aim to address problems identified in a critical legislative audit last year. The audit called Minnesota’s current licensing system “broken,” citing confusing requirements and uneven standards for in- and out-of-state candidates.”
By Erin Hinrichs | MinnPost
“While debates over teacher licensure reforms, school funding and failed pseudo voucher bills dominated the education agenda at the Capitol this year, a pretty significant policy measure passed without much commotion: the “last in, first out” layoff policy, commonly known as LIFO, is no longer written into state statute as the default for districts and union leaders who can’t reach an agreement during negotiations on how layoffs should otherwise be handled.”
By The StarTribune Editorial Board
“As part of the state’s multibillion-dollar E-12 education package, Minnesota lawmakers approved two long-awaited and much-needed provisions governing teaching jobs. Under the new legislation, the state’s teacher licensing system was overhauled to make it more streamlined and less complicated. Overall, the changes create an easier, more sensible path to obtaining a license to teach in Minnesota.”
By Alejandra Matos | The Washington Post
“Nearly 200 teachers have quit their jobs in D.C. Public Schools since the school year began, forcing principals to scramble to cover their classes with substitutes and depriving many students of quality instruction in critical subjects.
The vacancies hit hardest in schools that already face numerous academic challenges, according to data The Washington Post obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request.”