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So What Were the North Star Standards all About?

July 26, 2002

During the 2000 legislative session a battle ensued to replace the Profile with the North Star Standard -- academic and knowledge-based requirements. A compromise would have allowed districts to choose between the Profile and the North Star Standard, but the compromise broke down when Profile supporters "insisted that students in both Profile and North Star Standard districts take the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCA's), standardized tests for school accountability based on Profile-related goals."

To this day, many struggle to understand the seriousness of forcing North Star Standard districts to take the MCA's.

In April 2002, the Department of Education at the U of M relased a report titled "The Impact of the Profile of Learning on Teaching and Learning in English and Social Studies Classrooms,". The report describes how the North Star Standards was gutted by the "compromise" and explains the results, had it been accepted.

  • North Star Standards supporters refused the "compromise" that would have made the new standards accountable to the Profile of Learning. The "compromise" "required assessments that did not match the back-to-basics standards." This was the longest legislative session in history. p. 15
  • Tests always drive the curriculum, especially when the tests result in rewards and sanctions. A set of standards that are tested by an entirely different set of standards has no credibility as standards at all.
  • (View additional selected quotes from the U of M report)
    (View the complete U of M report)

    View coverage of the Northstar Standards from 2000
    (The Fat Lady's Performance is Postponed until 2001)
    (What is the North Star Standard?)

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