Last week the state released the latest results of the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment (MCA), a test we use to measure science, reading, and math proficiency.
The results were troubling. There was zero overall improvement in reading, math, or science. For three years in a row, less than 60% of Minnesota students are reading at grade level. Our achievement gap between white students and students of color remains unconscionably high. In Minneapolis and Saint Paul, 32% of 10th grade students are reading at grade level.
Simply put, our education system is failing too many Minnesota students. Every year the teacher's union and Democrat politicians talk about the need for more money. Even in the depths of the recession while we were making painful and necessary cuts in other areas, we increased education funding.
If money were the answer, our schools would at least be on the road to improvement. They are not.
The teacher's union and the Democrats who vote in lock step with their demands continue to oppose the necessary transformational reforms that we need to make real improvements in our schools. Every year that goes by that we don't make these reforms is another year of students who suffer in life as a direct result of these failing school systems.
Democrats and the teacher's union oppose school choice that would help students escape these failing schools and empower parents with real education options. An overwhelming amount of studies prove that where competition and school choice has been introduced academic scores increase without additional funding, even in the poor inner school neighborhoods. An excellent documentary and video on this subject is titled "Waiting for Superman."
Our public schools have many dedicated and hardworking teachers in them. One of the primary impediments to higher academic scores for students is the unproven educational experiments sent into local schools by the US Department of Education and the Minnesota Department of Education. These experiments waste billions of tax dollars, and frustrate and impede many school teachers who resent the micro-management by high paid government bureaucrats who make their jobs more difficult.
These test results tell the story of thousands of students who are in desperate need of help, and in desperate need of educational reform. I will continue the fight for a better academic future and hope that Democrats will join our efforts to put students first.