Minnesota’s grade-school students are leading the nation in overall math scores, according to “The Nation’s Report Card”, which was released today. Minnesota’s fourth and eighth graders scored significantly higher than the national average, continuing a trend of excellence in both reading and math scores. The high scores are encouraging, but a sense of urgency is created by the fact that Minnesota’s scores remained flat as compared to 2009.
Minnesota’s new teacher-evaluation law, passed during the 2011 legislative session, is one of 17 state plans being lauded by the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ), a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit that advocates for reform to teacher training, evaluation and compensation.
As reported by MinnPost today, the Minnesota law was applauded for meeting most of the goals set forth by NCTQ through its approach to more strongly factor student achievement into teacher ratings. As seen in the full report:
“The move to rethink how to evaluate teachers and explicitly tie assessments of teacher performance to student achievement marks an important shift in thinking about teacher quality,”
On Friday, Governor Dayton appointed Senator Larry Pogemiller as the new Director of the Office of Higher Education. Senator Pogemiller has been a leading voice in higher education issues through more than three decades of service in the Minnesota Senate.
Senator Pogemiller’s district includes the University of Minnesota campus. The Star Tribune reported that Governor Dayton emphasized Pogemiller’s opportunity to reshape higher education policy.
"Senator Pogemiller is one of the smartest, most talented, and most dedicated people I have ever met in public service,” Said Governor Dayton. “He brings unparalleled experience and expertise in the legislative process and in public policy issues. He is the perfect choice for the Office of Higher Education at this critical juncture for higher education in Minnesota.”