I cover education issues for the West Central Tribune and have worked for the paper since 1995. I have worked in journalism since 1981.
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The State Department of Education uses great care to develop the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments. Danith Clausen, Willmar's director of curriculum and instruction, said the tests are written by groups of teachers recruited by the SDE from across the state. They start with the state standards and then they write the test specifications, deciding what standards will be included in the test.
Take a look at the state's sample math test for eighth-graders, chock full of algebra problems, and, depending on your memory and your age, you may think: Wow, I've forgotten a lot. Umm, what does that word mean? Did I ever learn this in the first place? Wait, this is for eighth-graders? Yes, it's for eighth graders, and Willmar school officials were as surprised as anyone when the sample test was posted on the Minnesota Department of Education website at the end of 2010. Superintendent Jerry Kjergaard's reaction? "I thought I wasn't smart enough," he said.
WILLMAR -- Asked what advice he would give to job hunters who have been out of work for a long time, U.S. Sen.
WILLMAR - Renewable energy could be the driving force behind economic growth in rural Minnesota, U.S. Sen. Al Franken said Wednesday. Franken toured some local energy projects in Willmar after spending a day and a half in Morris on a similar tour.
SPICER -- Business has been good this year for companies that are dependent on winter weather. Particularly for snowmobile dealers, the steady arrival of fresh snow during most of the winter has been a godsend after years of sparse snow and a struggling economy. "Normally we don't have rideable snow until around Christmas," said Nathan Nielsen, co-owner of Spicer Sports & Marine. "This year we were riding by the end of November." "Kandiyohi County and indeed the whole state has really developed a nice trail system," Nielsen said.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar, Montevideo and New London-Spicer school districts are close to an agreement to share the services of Willmar's nutrition director among the three districts. Willmar Superintendent Jerry Kjergaard told the School Board about the plan at Monday's board meeting.
WILLMAR -- Ridgewater College President Douglas Allen still hopes to see a state bonding bill that includes a $14.3 million improvement project for his Willmar campus. Gov. Mark Dayton proposed a $1 billion bonding bill earlier this week and supplied a list of projects to make up half the total. It included the Ridgewater project.
Augustana College officials confirmed Monday that everyone on the Augustana Band's Egyptian tour had been able to leave the country. Seventy-one members of the Augustana Band, along with 19 faculty, staff and friends, have been in Egypt since early January on a 25-day, five-concert tour of the country. Anti-government pro-tests that arose last week caused the band to cancel its final concert on Friday night and move to a hotel that was far away from the protests. Air travel in and out of the country was disrupted, and college officials spent the weekend making alternate travel plans when th
WILLMAR -- The prospects for a bonding are unclear at best, but about half of Gov. Mark Dayton's plan would fund projects at state-run colleges and universities -- including a major project at Ridgewater College. The governor's plan includes $14.3 million to complete the second phase of a capital improvement project. Funding for the first phase was approved in the 2008 bonding bill, but former Gov.
Augustana College officials have confirmed that the last group of students and other members of the Augustana Band's Egyptian tour left Cairo International Airport this morning en route to Amsterdam. Two other groups with the band's 25-day concert tour of Egypt had been able to leave Cairo on Sunday, according to updates on the school's website.