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Session 2003

Session 2003: K-12 Education



ISSUE UPDATE
The show-what-you-know Profile of Learning was traded in for a built-from-scratch set of academic standards. The bill establishes rigorous new standards for five core subjects: language arts, mathematics, science, social studies and the arts. If all goes as planned, schools will incorporate the new English and reading, math and arts standards in their curriculums by this fall, with social studies and science guidelines following within a year.

A disagreement over how to replace the much-maligned Profile of Learning academic standards is raising the possibliity that the Profile could survive for another year. Education commissioner Cheri Pearson Yecke presented a draft of new fact-based standards to lawmakers earlier this week. House Republicans generally agree with the proposal, but the DFL Senate is seriously considering an alternative that was created by teachers more than a year ago. The DFL chair of the Senate Education Policy Committee, Steve Kelley, and the Republican chair of the House Education Policy Committee, Barbara Sykora, joined MPR's Cathy Wurzer on Morning Edition. (04/17/2003)
State education commissioner Cheri Pierson Yecke has presented legislators with revised math and English standards for Minnesota public schools. She needed to rewrite much of the plan after hearing complaints from teachers and parents. Yecke says pleased with the changes, but lawmakers are still finding flaws. (04/15/2003)
Gov. Tim Pawlenty's administration briefs lawmakers Tuesday on a revised set of English and math standards meant to replace the Profile of Learning. The administration released the updated standards Monday, just as House lawmakers revealed a $12 billion education package that closely follows the governor's spending recommendations. (04/15/2003)
State budget woes may force many communities to reduce or eliminate after-school programs. Some who run after-school programs predict an increase in juvenile crime. But a state official says there may be a way to save after-school programs. (04/07/2003)
A Minnesota Senate committee has voted to repeal the Profile of Learning and implement a new set a statewide academic standards for public schools. But the replacement standards differ sharply from the back-to-basics approach approved in the House and favored by Gov. Pawlenty. (04/04/2003)
A Senate panel is scheduled to vote Thursday on Gov. Pawlenty's proposed education budget. Pawlenty says his budget protects K-12 funding for the classroom. Education groups disagree, but they're not complaining too loudly. They say K-12 schools were largely spared from the deep cuts that hit other areas of the state budget. (04/03/2003)
A bill requiring children to regularly recite the Pledge of Allegiance - a measure some thought would be bolstered by war - got caught up in political bickering and maneuvering Monday in the Minnesota House. The House voted 113-19 to approve the bill, but a decision to marry the pledge measure with a move to repeal the Profile of Learning graduation standards puts the bill's ultimate passage in doubt. (03/25/2003)
Minnesota's education commissioner hosted the first in a series of public meetings on proposed changes to K-12 academic standards Thursday night in Winona. If approved by lawmakers this session, the new standards will replace the current Profile of Learning. (03/14/2003)
A citizens panel on school standards wants Minnesota first graders to be able to rhyme words and count up to 120. Education commissioner Cheri Pierson Yecke and representatives of the Minnesota Academic Standards Committee appeared at two legislative hearings today to recommend grade-by-grade expectations in reading and math. (03/11/2003)
A citizens committee will present its recommendations next week for new state academic standards in reading and math. State education commissioner Cheri Pierson Yecke and two key legislative leaders updated a metro area business group on efforts to replace the Profile of Learning with a simpler approach to what students must learn. (03/07/2003)
The Senate Education Committee chair is proposing a bill that would repeal the Profile of Learning graduation standards and replace it with standards created by several national teacher organizations. It's the first time Senate DFLers have proposed legislation that would repeal the controversial show-what-you-know graduation standards. The House has passed a bill that would repeal the Profile and replace it with an undefined set of standards. (03/03/2003)
Results of a new survey show a majority of state voters think public education in Minnesota is on the right track, but less than half think money for schools is well spent. (02/27/2003)
A panel of educators, parents and business leaders met Wednesday to begin deciding what the state's public school students need to know in reading and math. Members of the Minnesota Academic Standards Committee appear willing to borrow ideas heavily from other states as they try to meet their late March deadline. (02/19/2003)
The Minnesota House voted overwhelmingly on Monday to repeal the Profile of Learning graduation standards. It's the fifth straight year the House has voted to repeal the profile. Supporters are more confident than ever that this is the year the standards will be scrapped. The Pawlenty administration has indicated its support of new standards by creating a task force to make new ones. The Minnesota Senate, which has voted to preserve the Profile in the past, is also inclined to make major changes. Several senators, however, say they don't want to move too quickly until they know what they're going to replace it with. (02/17/2003)
The House Education Policy Committee voted Thursday to repeal the Profile of Learning, a tiny step on the road toward replacing Minnesota's academic standards. Gov. Tim Pawlenty opposes the Profile, and his administration is drafting a new set of school standards for use by next fall. (02/06/2003)

Audio Highlights

The new education standards (6/9/03)
Commissioner of Education Cheri Pearson Yecke explains the new standards. Midday
K-12 budget deal reached. (5/22/03)
Education commissioner, key legislators interviewed on MPR's Midday
News conference: House Republicans outline legislative priorities, most dealing with repeal of Profile of Learning (1/8/03)