ST. PAUL -- Gov. Tim Pawlenty unleashed the Profile of Learning wrecking ball Wednesday, announcing the formation of a committee to devise new academic standards in time for next school year.
The committee -- made up of teachers, parents, superintendents, business leaders and other stakeholders -- is under a tight schedule. Members will be chosen Feb. 13 and they must have a first draft of math and reading standards about three weeks later. A final version is due to the Legislature by March 31.
"It's going to be a challenge, I admit that. It's not like we're starting with a blank slate," said Cheri Pierson Yecke, Pawlenty's education commissioner. "Other people have laid the groundwork, other states do have excellent standards. We can look, borrow, enhance, modify and take what they've done and put it together into something that's workable for Minnesota."
The standards would set learning expectations for kindergartners through high school seniors.
The rewrite hinges on the Legislature's willingness to abolish the Profile, the embattled system that requires students to demonstrate their knowledge through projects and tasks. A repeal is a sure bet in the House, but the Senate is closely divided.
Senate Education Committee Chairman Steve Kelley, DFL-Hopkins, questioned the fast-track approach, noting it took several years to develop, refine and implement the Profile.
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