9:37 PM | Posted in ,
One of my all time favorite campaign commercials is of our illustrious Governor standing in front of a school (presumably his school) and proclaiming that he understood education because he was a product of the education system. Like most educators, I laughed and laughed as two important points struck me: first, given that nearly everyone in the state is a product of the education system, they must all be experts in education according to Pawlenty so what makes him so special and second, very few people who have not been involved in the business of education truly understand what it takes or what it entails.

That being said, part of the veto threat made by Pawlenty over the Education Finance Bill recently passed through the legislature is that it:

“The DFL education bill stops our nation-leading program to pay teachers for performance and revokes other key education accountability measures.”

Tim Pawlenty never did get the pay for performance initiative (QComp) he wanted. Rather, the legislature passed ATPPS (Alternative Teacher Professional Pay System). Since that time the Governor and his Department of Education has done everything they could to deny those districts who offered almost identical programs to the ones initially accepted. Why? Because in the beginning they needed to approve as many districts to show that the system was working. Now, because of the obstinance of this administration, many districts have been denied because Pawlenty demands pay tied to arbitrary test scores. Well, Mr. Pawlenty, districts are no longer interested in your little system of judging us based on one test score. So, you can either stop being obstructionist and allow districts to develop their own pay systems or you can take that money and allow it to be spread across a hurting education system.

So, Mr. Pawlenty, just because you went to school does not mean you have even the most basic understanding of how best to educate students.