State Rep. Dean Urdahl, R-Acton Township, is one of only three House members to receive recognition for their efforts to support education in Greater Minnesota during the 2013 legislative session.
The Minnesota Rural Education Association singled out Urdahl as a Hero of Rural Education for his work this year to rectify a situation pertaining to teacher licensure.
Urdahl said some teachers’ careers are in jeopardy for failing the exams, even though parts of the test aren’t related to their teaching field. He successfully advocated a provision that would allow teachers to continue teaching for an additional two years if they fail state-mandated licensure exams. Also, a task force was created through legislation Urdahl authored. It will recommend a remedy as to how teachers are tested and how to ensure they are proficient in their content area.
“You have a situation where, for example, kindergarten teachers are expected to pass a test for college-level mathematics,” Urdahl said. “We need to ensure we have top-notch teachers in Minnesota, but also want to make sure we aren’t pushing talented educators out of the classroom for reasons not relevant to their particular work. That is what I am working to resolve.”
Democrat Reps. Kathy Brynaert, Mankato, and Paul Marquardt, Dilworth, also received recognition from MREA.