Will Teacher Tenure changes in Minnesota spark a Walker-like reaction?

This story’s headline in the Strib had me wondering.

I don’t think so. It only effects one, albeit the largest, public employee union. It is good to the younger half of that union. It also gives financially hard pressed school districts the chance to shed their most expensive senior teachers. Also, it comes after decades of public criticism pointed at teacher tenure.

In the case of Duluth this could be something of a godsend. A district desperate to bring down class size and with no prospects for any new money could shed senior teachers at will no matter how experienced or talented. The DFT under Frank Wanner has sucked up so much of the fiscal oxygen that the District has little choice but go draconian on the senior teachers it can ill afford.

I have mixed feelings about tenure. Its supposed to put some spine in teachers to do the right thing but I’ve seen little actual exercise of it in terms of Duluth teachers speaking truth to power in the face of the Red Plan and or Keith Dixon. That inclines me to think it would be no great loss should Mark Dayton sign the bill. I note that a number of DFL Senators voted to scrap tenure protection.

I haven’t followed this closely enough to know what’s likely to happen. I’m frankly fascinated. This may be the straw that broke the camel’s back.

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