Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Pawlenty the Maverick: Policy innovator

There was a great article in the Star News today on the benefits of politicians working together, specificity on education issues.

Much of the article focused on Gov. Pawlenty's education initiatives, including Q-Comp and changing how schools operate. The bottom line of the article was was throwing money at the problems in education doesn't always work. Sometimes we need people to stand up for change against the establishment.

Gov. Pawlenty has taken on the teachers' union with his Q-Comp proposal which rewards teachers for their performance in the classroom, not for the amount of time they've been in the union.

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Q-COMP entered public school language this year. More than $80 million was allocated. Some funds will be used for teacher training, some to reward teachers, either individually or at the building level, when students show academic progress.

For many years, we have made merit pay for teachers' but the only forms of merit rewarded were becoming older, and earning advanced degrees.

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Part of Minnesota'’s educational success has come from a willingness to try new ideas. And part has come from a willingness to cooperate across party and philosophical lines. After several years of strife, 2005 was a year of compromise and progress.

(Source: Star News, Dec. 28, 2005)

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