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Woodbury Rep. Kieffer’s Teacher Skills Bill Gains Momentum

Catching up with the lawmakers who represent Woodbury.

A bill that would require new Minnesota teachers to pass a basic-skills test recently won unanimous approval from the state House of Representatives.

State Rep. Andrea Kieffer, a Republican from Woodbury, authored the bill, which would require a passing grade from teachers before they get their license (HF 1770). Current law requires the basic skills test, but still allows teachers in the classroom even if they fail, according to a release from her office.

“We all agree that we need to raise the bar for teacher candidates in order to solve the achievement gap,” Kieffer said in a statement. “This bill assures that we are hiring effective teachers who will provide a high-quality education for our children.”

The Senate version of the bill was schedule to have a hearing today (Feb. 16), Kieffer told Patch. The Senate legislation (SF 1493) does have different language, but she’s hopeful it will pass both chambers and land on the governor’s desk.

“Providing a high-quality education translates to a high-quality workforce,” Kieffer said in a statement. “The Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, Minnesota Business Partnership, Minnesota School Board Association, and several superintendents and school associations agree.”

Meanwhile, Kieffer said the city has asked her not to pursue a bill that would open the door for Woodbury to use lower-interest bonds to fund the Bielenberg Sports Center reconstruction.

Editor's note: Sen. Ted Lillie did not return a phone call seeking comment. Attached to this story is his latest newsletter.

Chris Soukup February 16, 2012 at 11:36 PM
This is a good, common sense bill. Exactly the type of work our legislators should focus on. I would like to know what exactly about this bill DFL candidate, Mark Wackerfuss, finds "wrongheaded" as he labeled it in his Patch blog earlier this week.
Dave Anderson February 18, 2012 at 04:01 PM
Chris mr. Wackerfuss likely opposes this because the teachers union opposes any thing related to evaluating performance over entitlement and seniority. Opposing Education Minnesota means one of the largest political contributors in the state will limit any support Mr. Wackenfuss needs to bring his liberal ideology to a pragmatic thinking district

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