Dayton talks education reform

Governor Mark Dayton is rolling out an education reform agenda this morning at the Capitol. We’ll be updating during the event:

9:45 — Dayton says the first month of his administration has gone well, and says the Legislature is off to a quick start. He says he’s focused on getting ready for the State of the State address next week. “I’m not bored.”

9:42 — Cassellius says the award will try to support spreading best practices around the state.

9:40 — Casselius talking a little about Excellence in Education award. Says it will recognize teachers that are getting “excellent results on the MCA.”

9:36 — Dayton says he’d rather have diagnostic tests. “We’ve been taking a backward look at testing, using them to categorize and blame schools” for circumstances that may not be in their control. “We want streamlined accountability.. the tests are so frequent and so dominant, that they’re skewing teaching.”

9:30 — “We’re not ready to put numbers to it, but at least grow about what the nation is doing, in terms of closing the achievement gap,” Cassellius says, in response to question about achievement gap goals.

9:28 — MPR’s Tom Weber asks where the money will come from, asks about income tax. “Nothing is specifically tied to anything,” Dayton responds. Says again that he wants an overall budget solution.

9:26 — Handout also says state will “create alternative pathways to teacher licensure that maintain quality.”

9:24 — Dayton says commission on education funding will include education commissioner and “legislators from both sides of the aisle.” Says they will have an assessment of state’s current funding formula by the end of March.

9:20 — Handout says state will establish “Test Reduction Task Force,” as well as Governor’s Award for Excellence in Education and a “Governor’s Achievement Gap Innovation Fund.” No numbers, however.

9:19 — Ed Commissioner Brenda Cassellius says state will launch statewide campaign to get every child reading by 3rd grade.

9:17 — He says next week’s budget will fulfill his campaign promise to increase public education funding “no excuses, no exceptions.”

9:15 — Dayton says he has a “7-point plan for Better Schools for a Better Minnesota.” Handout says he is going to establish a “Governor’s Commission on Better School Funding.”

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