Vallay Varro was a founding state executive director. She now serves as the president of 50CAN.

Minnesota is one step closer to keeping its greatest teachers in the game. H. F. 1870, which would use Minnesota’s new statewide teacher evaluation system to protect high-performing teachers from layoffs, soared through the House Education Reform Committee last week. It’s on its way to the House Floor on Thursday for a vote.

There’s still a long way for this bill to go and now is a critical moment. So we’re asking Minnesotans to tell their representative to support H.F. 1870 to keep a great teacher in every classroom.

Today, decisions about who to hire, promote or even lay off when faced with budget deficits are based solely on seniority, with little attention paid to teacher performance.

This bill is an important first step to using our new teacher evaluation system to reform our staffing structure for Minnesota educators.

The new evaluations provide school leaders and districts with trusted information on who their top teachers are, but we need to connect it with commonsense reforms to Minnesota’s teacher tenure law to make a true difference for our kids.

If you’re a Minnesotan, I hope you will join me in making sure that the legislature supports H.F. 1870 to prize our first-string teachers. Our kids deserve it.

Vallay Varro is the executive director of MinnCAN: The Minnesota Campaign for Achievement Now. For more information on MinnCAN’s 2012 legislative campaign, The Playbook for Education in Minnesota, visit


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