Gov. Mark Dayton (D)
Date of Speech: April 30
Gov. Dayton used his State of the State address to announce a review of all K-12 assessments with a goal of streamlining and reducing standardized testing, to push for expansion of early-childhood education, and to introduce the idea of extending school days and the school year.
“Many children come to school terrified on test days, then go home demoralized,” he said, in asking the state education department to prepare an analysis of all the tests required at each grade level. He urged legislators in the 2015 session “to work with state and national experts to reduce the amount of school testing and allow dedicated teachers to spend their time teaching students what they will need for their future success.”
At the same time, Gov. Dayton noted that while Minnesota’s 4th graders tested first in the nation on the recent National Assessment of Educational Progress, the state requires among the shortest school years in the country. The amount of time students spend in classrooms daily has declined as well, he said.
“Next year’s legislature needs to re-evaluate those practices,” he said.
On the topic of early-childhood education, Gov. Dayton said, “Let us all commit that by 2018, all 3- and 4-year-olds in Minnesota will have access to quality, affordable early-childhood education.” State-funded all-day kindergarten, one of Gov. Dayton’s priorities, will begin this fall, he said.
Watch the Full Address
A version of this article appeared in the May 14, 2014 edition of Education Week as Minnesota