Before the bold education reforms of governors Mitch Daniels (Indiana) and Scott Walker (Wisconsin), Minnesota enacted a modest reform called Q Comp. This approach to teacher pay took a hit recently when the teacher union in one south metro school district decided to reject higher pay in favor of a union scale.

According to the Minnesota Department of Education, 50 school districts have signed onto the program, which was enacted in 2005. (Proportionately, charter schools are much more likely to participate. The department says that 54 charter schools participate.)

Only two of the give component of Q Comp involve evaluating teachers or paying for performance, and even then, there’s not much there. The law requires that only 60 percent of teacher pay be based on teacher performance. Strike that. The law requires that 60 percent of the increases in teacher pay be based on teacher performance.

According to ThisWeek publications, 90 percent (30 votes out of 33) of the leadership of the Burnsville Education Association voted against going forward with a revamped version of the program. That kills Q Comp within the district, since the law does not require districts to participate. The union’s president said they rain into “basically a time crunch” in coming to an agreement. The article also cited a recent history of mistrust between the union and the administration.

The Legislature passed a more ambitious reform of teacher evaluation and compensation in the 2011 session, but the reform was vetoed by Gov. Mark Dayton.