Education Policy Conversation — Northfield Alternative Learning Center

On Monday, March 1, at 10:00 a.m.,

Rep. Mindy Greiling

and Rep. Connie Bernardy, both on the House Education Policy and Education Finance Committees, will come to the Alternative Learning Center to discuss education policy with interested Northfielders. They will tour the ALC and meet with people working in education and interested in education to learn what we think about the current direction of education in Minnesota and to let us know their legislative priorities this year.

In a recent article from the Duluth News Tribune it was reported:

The Legislative Auditor — an office that does evaluations at the Legislature’s request — used a simulation to project that even under the best academic scenarios, 80 percent of the schools would fall short if no changes are made to the law. The auditor predicted that all of Minneapolis and St. Paul schools will miss achievement goals. . . More than 80 percent of Minnesota’s elementary schools will be considered underperforming in the next decade under the guidelines of the federal No Child Left Behind law, according to an independent analysis.

It is also “quite possible” that the state will spend more money implementing that law than it will receive from the federal government, the state’s Legislative Auditor office concluded.

Pawlenty’s education commissioner, Cheri Pierson Yecke, attacked the report as one built on faulty assumptions, primarily that the law and funding levels will remain unchanged over the next 10 years. The law is due for reauthorization in 2008.

“The report paints a false perception,” Yecke said. “This perpetuates some myths.”

But critics of the law said it makes their case for distancing the state from the law. Rep. Mindy Greiling, DFL-Roseville, said Minnesota can’t count on federal officials to make changes.

“It’s my opinion that their goal is to prove that schools are failing so we can go to vouchers that you and President Bush support,” Greiling told Yecke at a House committee hearing.

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