ST. PAUL -- Defenders and opponents of the Profile of Learning rallied behind proposals Thursday that would reduce the number of graduation requirements in Minnesota's public schools and change the way assignments are graded.
The House Education Committee discussed 10 bills that seek a range of revisions to the embattled system. Only one called for the profile's elimination and replacement.
''I don't think the Profiles of Learning are clogging the arteries of good education,'' said Rep. Satveer Chaudhary, DFL-Fridley. He said the problems can be fixed by easing the load on teachers and students.
That theme ran through most of the bills. Lawmakers considered proposals to cut the number of requirements, called ''content standards,'' from 24 to as few as 12. Most bills also suggested grading changes to align scoring more closely with grade level. A freshman can now be graded based on a senior's best work.
The profile, which also is used in the state's charter schools, works in tandem with basic skills tests and is designed to make sure those receiving diplomas can apply what they've learned. Starting with this year's sophomores, students must complete projects in 24 of 48 study areas before graduation.
Since the profile was introduced in classrooms, teachers have complained of excessive paperwork and a confusing grading system, which requires them to score projects on a scale of one to four instead of the traditional A-F method.
The Department of Children, Families and Learning has asked that this year's ninth- and tenth-graders be exempt from profile requirements so they won't be held back while lawmakers smooth out problems. Most of the proposals included a similar moratorium.
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