“The stability of a republican form of government depending mainly upon the intelligence of the people, it is the duty of the legislature to establish a general and uniform system of public schools.” —Constitution of the State of Minnesota, Article XIII, Sec. 1
When the DFL puts the interests of the teachers' union above the needs of Minnesota's public school students, we get headlines like this, year after year:
- State standardized test scores show little change; achievement gap persists (Star Tribune)
- Minnesota student performance on proficiency tests holds steady, with some modest gains (Pioneer Press)
- Achievement gap persists in statewide MCA test scores; slight improvement overall (Minnesota Public Radio)
By doubling the number of standardized tests that middle and high school students will be required to take, Gov. Dayton and the DFL legislature have ensured that “paralysis by analysis” will preserve Minnesota's achievement gap between white and minority students for another generation.
In contrast, union interests are being well-served by the majority party in Saint Paul:
- Democrats prioritize seniority over teaching ability (one doesn't guarantee the other) when they oppose ending the state's last-in/first-out teacher layoff law.
- Democrats protect union members when they oppose introducing innovative programs like Teach for America into low-performing public schools.
- Gov. Dayton put union interests above high teaching standards when he vetoed a bill that would have required new teachers to pass a basic skills test before teaching in a classroom.