Dayton criticizes new teacher licensing bill

Gov. Mark Dayton is criticizing a plan for an alternative way to license new teachers that is now moving through the Legislature.

On Thursday, Dayton released a letter to the bill's Senate sponsor, Sen. Gen Olson, a Republican from Minnetrista.

In it, Dayton says the bill doesn't do enough to guarantee that teachers licensed under the proposal would have enough grounding in the subjects they will teach.

He says it is also essential that nonprofit groups that would be allowed to train new teachers partner with existing colleges of education. The bill currently has no such requirement.

Supporters say bringing new kinds of teachers to the classroom could help close the achievement gap between white students and racial minorities.

A message left at Olson's Senate office was not immediately returned.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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