MSBA at the Capitol — Gov. Dayton’s education policy bill calls for fewer tests

MSBA at the Capitol — Gov. Dayton’s education policy bill calls for fewer tests

This week both the Senate Education Committee and the House Education Innovation Policy Committee reviewed Gov. Mark Dayton’s education policy proposal (SF 1495 | HF 1591). The bill’s testing-reduction provisions garnered the most attention.

The bill would overall eliminate seven out of the 21 tests that students are required to take from grades 3 to 12. The proposal would eliminate:

  • Mathematics Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCAs) for grades 3 and 4 and require it in grades 5 through 8 and 11.
  • Reading MCAs for grades 6 and 7 and would require it in grades 5, 8 and 10.
  • EXPLORE in grade 8
  • Plan in grade 10
  • Compass college placement test

The new proposal would keep ACT (or nationally normed college entrance exam) in grade 11. The bill would establish composite career and college readiness marks in grades 5, 8 and high school which will predict performance on a college entrance exam. The bill would repeal the Education Planning and Assessment System (EPAS) Program, Improving Graduation Rates for Emotional Behavior Disorder Students (as it’s duplicative reporting, also done under federal reporting) and annual reporting for Learning and Development Revenue.

Minnesota Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius said she was comfortable eliminating the MCAs for grades 3 and 4 due to the strong math standards the state currently has in place along with the Algebra I and II graduation requirements. 

The language of the bill is complicated as it includes a number of technical restructuring of the assessments statue.

The ultimate goal was to reduce the number of tests. MSBA is very interested to hear your feedback on this test-reduction proposal. Contact your Government Relations staff with your comments — Grace Keliher (, Denise Dittrich ( or Snezhana Bessonov (

Click here to view Gov. Dayton’s education policy bill in its entirety.

The bills will be fully vetted next week in each of the legislative bodies.

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