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Legislative auditor calls for more scrutiny of student testing in Minnesota

MinnPost photo by Peter Callaghan
Minnesota State Capitol

Will Minnesota’s testing-regime pass the test? The Forum’s Don Davis reports: “Minnesota students, no doubt, think they are tested too often, and now the state legislative auditor says those concerns should be studied further. … The state Education Department ‘should gather information from school districts and charter schools on the local costs and impacts of administering state-mandated tests, and use these data to inform policy decisions,’ the Monday, March 6, report concluded. … Also, the department should look to schools to get a better handle on how scores are being used, the report added, and suggested ‘the Legislature should remove or re-examine certain legal requirements that prescribe specific test designs or reporting formats, and instead focus on setting priorities for tests overall.’”

Gubernatorial health update. The Pioneer Press’s Rachel E. Stassen-Berger reports: “Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton’s recovery from prostate surgery is going well but slower than the governor hoped. … The 70-year-old governor had a four-hour surgery on March 2 and had planned to leave Rochester’s Mayo Clinic on Saturday — two days later — but delayed his return home until Sunday. He had also planned to make a public appearance on Monday but delayed his public re-emergence until Tuesday.”

New Met Council report on poverty in the Twin Cities. The Pioneer Press’ Frederick Melo writes: “After plateauing following the recession, poverty rates have dipped slightly in the seven-county Twin Cities metro area but increased in St. Paul. … In St. Paul, areas of concentrated poverty are expanding, especially around the East Side and North End.”

Sounds like a lot of meth. In the Shakopee Valley News, Pat Minelli writes: “From methamphetamine to prescription pills, drugs are being seized at an alarming rate in Minnesota, according to a report issued Monday by the state Department of Public Safety, which concluded that illicit drug use threatens the safety and health of communities across the state as lives are lost and families destroyed by their use and abuse. … In 2016, Violent Crime Enforcement Teams (VCETs) seized a record 488 pounds of meth off the streets, a 484 percent increase since meth seizures was at its lowest levels in 2009 (83 pounds). Prescription pill seizures, which includes opioids, increased by 231 percent in 2016 over the previous year.”

In other news…

It’s fun for all of us: “Why 96-year-old sports writer Sid Hartman isn’t slowing down: ‘This is fun for me’” [Today]

Look people, this building already cost us enough:

Greenway going away: “Vikings’ Greenway to announce retirement” [Duluth News Tribune]

Minneapolis’ own: “Jovanta Patton Reaches No. 1 on the Billboard Gospel Charts” [Minnesota Monthly]

Good news for all you pikers: “Minn. pike regs stay same for 2017” [Echo Press]

Remarkable: “Stowaway cat survives 400-mile ride beneath St. Paul owner’s semi-truck” [Star Tribune]

Revolution tour dates: “Prince’s Revolution bandmates going on full parade with 24-gig tour” [Star Tribune]

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