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Task force wants to scrap Minn. teacher tests

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - An education task force is recommending that state lawmakers eliminate a basic skills test that all Minnesota teachers are required to pass, though a minority of task force members disagrees.

State data shows about 20 percent of teaching candidates fail the math, reading and writing test. Critics tell the St. Paul Pioneer Press it's not an accurate measure of competency, is culturally biased and does not accommodate test-takers with disabilities.

A Faribault middle school teacher and chairman of the state Board of Teaching says he believes it's sufficient if candidates graduate from an accredited program, demonstrate proficiency in their subjects and pass a classroom performance exam.

But dissenters on the task force say most states are strengthening expectations for classroom teachers and that Minnesota shouldn't move the other way.

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