ST. PAUL -- Lawmakers appear determined to avoid a repeat of last year's Profile of Learning stalemate as opposing camps inch slowly toward common ground on changes to the graduation rule.
The latest gesture of compromise came Wednesday, when Senate K-12 Education Budget Chairman Larry Pogemiller suggested in a legislative proposal that he could support fewer than 24 profile standards in some cases. Just before midnight, the panel approved Pogemiller's bill, which could reach the floor as early as next week.
Pogemiller's plan differs greatly from the main bill under consideration in the House Education Committee. But it shows movement that was absent from last year's debate.
The 1999 session adjourned with the House demanding the profile's abolition and the Senate wanting to keep it largely intact. No changes were made. Teachers and school officials came to the Capitol this year pleading for some relief so students wouldn't be held back while problems with the show-what-you-know system are smoothed out.
Even though strong opposition to the profile remains in the House, deliberations there indicate that some foes would accept modifications in place of its outright repeal.
Starting with the class of 2002, students need to complete 24 profile requirements in high school to graduate.
To complete a standard, students must do projects that demonstrate they can apply what they've learned in core courses.
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