Skip to main content Skip to office menu Skip to footer
Capital IconMinnesota Legislature

Teacher training to get upgrade

Published (1/14/2011)
By Kris Berggren
Share on: 

A redesign in the works of how Minnesota evaluates teacher preparation programs could shed light on the links between teacher preparation and student outcomes.

On Jan. 11, Board of Teaching Executive Director Karen Balmer took the House Education Reform Committee through a fast-paced, but thorough, overview of current standards, practices and new initiatives related to teacher licensure, certification and license renewal.

Committee Chairwoman Sondra Erickson (R-Princeton) and members have said that improving teacher effectiveness is a priority this session.

Eleven members appointed by the governor sit on the Board of Teaching — by statute, a majority are teachers. Balmer said the board’s ongoing challenge is to meld high standards for teacher accountability with flexibility to meet districts’ needs, particularly in shortage areas.

John Melick , director of educator licensing for the Department of Education, said teacher shortage areas include math; some sciences, such as physics and chemistry; bilingual elementary education; world languages; dance; theater; and several special education categories.

Balmer said the new initiative, Program Effectiveness Reports for Continuing Approval (PERCA), will soon be field-tested and should launch in about a year. It will use more data collection and performance measurement to assess the performance of first-year teachers who graduated from certain four-year education programs. Teachers’ results would be compared with their teacher training program to measure the program’s effectiveness.

“We are starting to see research that does show predictive value,” Balmer said. “A teacher that does perform well on this performs well in the classroom.”

One PERCA component is evaluation of teachers’ work in multiple ways. An independent reviewer will assess a teacher’s lesson planning, instruction and student work, and see a videotape of the teacher in the classroom.

Of the state’s 56,000 licensed teachers, Melick said 99.74 percent are in compliance with licensing requirements, with 96.71 percent fully certified; 3.03 percent holding one of several types of limited or temporary license; and 0.24 percent with an expired license or no license or permission to teach.

Session Weekly More...

Session Weekly Home

Related Stories

Waiting for the governor’s final grade
Omnibus education bill nears finish line
(view full story) Published 4/27/2012

Last in, first out … out or in?
Conference committee weighs benefits of changing teacher layoff practices
(view full story) Published 3/30/2012

Education advocate is moving on
Rep. Mindy Greiling announces she won’t seek re-election
(view full story) Published 2/3/2012

Withholding state funds from schools
Education finance law keeps $780 million for other General Fund spending
(view full story) Published 8/11/2011

First try at K-12 finance bill fails
Dayton says special education cuts ‘would create significant funding gaps’
(view full story) Published 7/15/2011

‘Bold and beautiful’ or full of inequities?
Confusion exists whether K-12 bill increases or cuts funding
(view full story) Published 5/20/2011

Minnesota Index: Teaching and learning
Facts and statistics about education in Minnesota
(view full story) Published 5/20/2011

Lands set apart
Permanent School Fund management, income potential explored
(view full story) Published 5/13/2011

‘Social promotion’ to promote literacy
Third-graders could repeat if they can’t read
(view full story) Published 4/29/2011

Historic St. Paul walkout
Illegal action changed teacher bargaining; a new debate rises over right to strike
(view full story) Published 4/15/2011

Changes in education
House approves omnibus education finance bill
(view full story) Published 4/1/2011

Education finance bill offers bold reforms
Quantity not as key as quality, says DFL
(view full story) Published 3/25/2011

A voucher by any other name
Bill would create limited scholarships for low-income students
(view full story) Published 3/18/2011

Fewer days, longer hours
Some districts find four-day school week works as a budget fix
(view full story) Published 2/18/2011

First Reading: ‘Pitting the good against the good’
Proposed lift of safe schools mandate is a tough call
(view full story) Published 2/4/2011

The goal: 25,000 new teachers
Bush Foundation commits big bucks to revamp teacher training
(view full story) Published 1/28/2011

First Reading: Alternative teacher mindset
Tackling the achievement gap one classroom at a time
(view full story) Published 1/21/2011