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Minnesota teachers' union calls for fewer standardized tests

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Many of the state's students are undoubtedly enjoying their day off at the Minnesota State Fair – but some of their teachers are there too, making the argument that kids ought not be subjected to as many yearly assessment tests as they currently are.

Education Minnesota, a teachers' union claiming 70,000 members, released a report on Monday that recommends testing only students in the 5th and 8th grades – as opposed to the more rigorous yearly exams mandated under the federal No Child Left Behind law, the Star Tribune reports.

According to the paper, teachers worry students don't get the well-rounded education they need when they spend so much classroom time preparing for "high-stakes" math, science and reading tests.

The organization planned to unveil the report at their Minnesota State Fair booth on Monday morning, a news release said.

Currently, students are tested every year from 3rd to 8th grade and once more in high school, a system Education Minnesota called "disruptive" in the release.

The union's report comes as congress weighs re-writing the No Child Left Behind law, the Pioneer Press reports.

The group argues the tests – known as the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCAs) in this state – don't accurately measure the "full scope and depth of student learning."

"The toxic testing approach is really narrowing curriculum," union President Denise Specht told the Pioneer Press. "Let's talk about better assessments that look at higher-level skills."

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