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Advocacy for teacher licensure

(See updates on our Advocacy Timeline page)


In 2012, the Minnesota legislature passed a law requiring all teacher candidates to pass a Basic Skills test prior to licensing. The governor signed the law in February. Here you can follow some of the activity that has resulted from the passage of this law.


Emerson Spanish Immersion Learning Center in Minneapolis hosted a meeting on Monday, June 25 where educators discussed the impact of a new Basic Skills Test on licensure candidates, in particular non-native speakers of English. Representatives from urban, suburban, public, and charter schools were present along with officials from the Minnesota Department of Education and interested community members.

From left in photo: Karen Balmer, Executive Director of the Minnesota Board of Teaching; Richie Kucinski, MAIN Board Member; Ursula Lentz, World Language Coordinator at MDE; Robert Raymond, PhD Candidate, NYU. See more photos of the meeting in our Immersion News section.
  • In May, forty-four immersion teachers responded to a Basic Skills Survey - 29 Spanish speakers, 6 Chinese speakers, 5 French speakers, 2 Hmong speakers, 1 German speaker, 1 Ojibwe/Dakota speaker. Almost half indicated difficulty with the sentence construction part of the test. Grammar, vocabulary, and content each presented difficulties for a little fewer than 1/3 of the respondents. Ten people had no problems with the test. See the summary of their experiences with the test.
  • Minnesota Senate bill 2420  and House bill 2878 would provide an extension through to January 1, 2014 for teachers to pass the Basic Skills test prior to being granted a Minnesota teaching license. 
  • Find out who your legislator is. Call, email, or schedule a visit to voice your support for legislation that helps immersion schools hire and retain the best qualified candidates.
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