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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.

Live coverage of Gov. Tim Pawlenty addressing the people of Minnesota in his first State of the State address. Charlie Weaver, Pawlenty's chief of staff, said the Republican governor's message would be upbeat, touching on education, criminal justice, roads and jobs. He says the speech will be an opportunity for Minnesotans to get to know Pawlenty better. Gary Eichten, in the MPR studios, talks with MPR political editor Mike Mulcahy at the Capitol. Also, MPR political reporters get key legislators' reactions to the speech. ( 02/06/2003)
Gov. Pawlenty has named the former secretary of education for the state of Virginia as Minnesota's next education commissioner. Cheri Pierson Yecke is currently the director of teacher quality and public school choice with the U.S. Department of Education. Yecke describes herself as a supporter of local control. Pawlenty calls her a bona fide change agent who can help guide his school reform agenda. (01/16/2003)
House Republicans showed that they were making repeal of the Profile of Learning a top priority when they announced it would be the subject of the second bill introduced this session. House Speaker Steve Sviggum, R-Kenyon, said the measure will pass. Audio is from their news conference at the Capitol. (01/08/2003)
Opponents of the Profile of Learning rallied at the state Capitol Wednesday to convince lawmakers to drop the show-what-you-know education standards. (01/08/2003)
Gov. Pawlenty began his term in office with several key cabinet positions still vacant. The Republican governor is pushing for big changes in K-12 education, but he has yet to name an education commissioner to carry out that agenda. Representatives of state education groups have some widely divergent opinions on the type of person needed to lead the Department of Children, Families and Learning. (01/08/2003)
For the first time in modern history, a lieutenant governor will head a state agency in Minnesota. Gov.-elect Tim Pawlenty named the Lt. Gov.-elect, Carol Molnau, as head of the Minnesota Department of Transportation Tuesday. This in preparation for taking office next week. Pawlenty faces many challenges as the new governor, including what to do about the projected $4.5 billion state budget shortfall. Still, he's sticking to his campaign promise that he won't raise taxes. ( 01/01/2003)
If voters knew one thing about Republican gubernatorial candidate Tim Pawlenty it was this: under no circumstances, he said, would he raise state taxes. Now, Gov.-elect Pawlenty is facing a $4.5 billion budget deficit over the next two years, far bigger than most had anticipated. Pawlenty says the unexpected size of the shortfall hasn't diminished his resolve to stand tough on taxes. But critics say his pledge could damage the state's long-term prospects. (12/31/2002)
Legislators' promises to protect K-12 education in the 2003 session have not been enough to ease the budget fears in Minnesota school districts. (12/30/2002)
Issues currently facing educators include possible funding cuts and controversy over standardized testing. Find out what education leaders think the future could hold for the K-12 schools. ( 12/24/2002)
Minnesota school districts are bracing for another year of budget pain and potentially tough contract negotiations. Lawmakers must solve a projected $4.5 billion state budget deficit next session. Republican Gov.-elect Tim Pawlenty has said he'll try to protect K-12 funding from cuts. But the organizations representing school boards and teachers say they'll still need an increase to avoid financial trouble. (12/09/2002)
The St. Paul school district will not mandate the Pledge of Allegiance in its classrooms. School board members voted down a proposal Monday requiring a daily opportunity for all elementary school students to recite the pledge. Instead, they'll let individual schools decide if they want to include the pledge and how often. (12/03/2002)

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)