Teachers Must Pass Basic-Skills Test, Under Woodbury Rep. Kieffer’s Bill

Gov. Mark Dayton signed the legislation into law today, Feb. 22, following two years of work from Woodbury’s House member.

Teacher candidates in Minnesota will have to pass a basic-skills exam before becoming certified under a bill Gov. Mark Dayton signed today, Feb. 22.

Authored by state Rep. Andrea Kieffer, a Republican from Woodbury, the bill will require teachers to pass a test in reading, writing and math. The bill passed the Senate 60-1 and 132-0 in the House.

The bill eliminates a three-year window teachers previously had to pass the test, Kieffer told Patch. The state Board of Teaching reported that there were 30 such teachers in Minnesota classrooms working under a provisional license last year, she said.

Kieffer has been since she was a freshman lawmaker last session. She spoke with higher-education officials, online institutions, the Minnesota Department of Education and others about the legislation.

“There were a lot of stakeholders involved,” Kieffer said. “We wanted to make sure it was something we’d all be pleased with and made good policy.”

Teachers whose licenses come from outside Minnesota will also need to take the test.

The Star Tribune has a story on the wider-reaching implications of the bill.


Kieffer says she’s not planning to run for the new District 53 senate seat.

“Not at this point,” she said.

While Kieffer said she is still digesting all the information from the changes, she too is , adding that the setup makes it easier to communicate with city leaders.

“Overall, when you look at the lines, they pretty much make sense,” Kieffer said. “I don’t have a problem with it. It’s well balanced.”

There will be some changes at the congressional level, however, where Kieffer said U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum, who has primarily represented a democratic stronghold, “will have to listen more to conservative voices, as well.”

Edward February 24, 2012 at 10:03 PM
"private schools have a much greater ability to evaluate teachers on performance over entitlement" How does that work? " So public schools are compelled to catch the incompetents much earlier than private schools." So the private schools can let the incompetents teach for a year or two before they are "compelled to catch" them? Actually this has nothing to do with a Republican accomplishing the passage of the legislation. She didn't. It was bipartisan -- did you forget the fact that this was signed into law by Dayton? Kieffer was just one vote on it. " a female Republican at that, a profile with whom you seem to have a consistent problem." I find it interesting that you can extrapolate from my dislike of Bachmann to all female Republicans. I actually like Kieffer, even though I'd never vote for her based on ideological differences. She's bright. She shows up and talks to constituents, unlike some others. I'd be careful about trying to analyze the motives of others. I don't swift boat your motives, Davea, but this "kill the messenger" tactic seems to be typical of Rovian types . . . ;-)
Dave Anderson February 24, 2012 at 10:22 PM
Renee unfortunately your history sinks your swift boat
Edward February 24, 2012 at 10:32 PM
Well Davea, let's see. I've been critical of Bachmann, Lillie, and Kieffer -- all representatives of my area, whom I have ideological differences with . . . a couple just happen to be female . . . I suppose, because you don't agree, this make me a person with a "consistent problem". Well yeah . . . I guess I could counter by saying you have consistent problem in not agreeing with me . . . but that would just be more pissing match rhetoric that isn't productive. But go ahead, Davea, have at it if it makes you feel good.
Dave Anderson February 24, 2012 at 11:26 PM
Renee thanks for proving my point. I could not have said it better except you did leave out your criticism of Romney, George Bush, the republican Party, the Tea party and your comparison of some republicans to the Taliban (January 17). Come to think of it maybe you are not so sexist.
Edward February 24, 2012 at 11:35 PM
And which point did I prove? I've come around to liking Mitt Romney. I like Santorum even more. In fact I'm hoping he'll be the party nominee, mostly because he loves and respects women so much ;-)


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