Editor's Note: The following opinion piece was penned by Rep. Bev Scalze. Her district, 54B, includes a portion of Roseville.
"I feel fortunate to live and work in Minnesota.
Not only is our state beautiful, diverse in its geography and weather, but Minnesota consistently receives high marks for quality of life and business climate.
Minnesota’s quality of education contributes to the strong business climate in the state. On many measures, Minnesota’s students are at or near the top nationally and internationally in educational achievement and attainment. One could argue their performance overall is an indicator of the educated and skilled work force in Minnesota.
Minnesota students do well on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) tests given to 4th and 8th graders. In math, Minnesota ranked among the top five states - 4th graders rank 3rd nationally and 8th graders 2nd. In reading, Minnesota 4th graders rank 10th and 8th graders rank 6th so Minnesota is among the top 10 states. NAEP tests are also known as “The Nation’s Report Card,” because they are the only national assessment of what students know and can do in various subject areas.
Minnesota’s ACT score of 22.9 in 2011 ranks 1st among states with more than half of students taking the test. Minnesota has led the nation in average composite ACT scores for seven consecutive years.
According to the Star Tribune, the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMISS) tests, most recently reported in 2008, show Minnesota 4th graders scored 5th internationally in math and 3rd in science. Minnesota 8th graders scored 6th internationally in both math and science.
Approximately 20 percent of Minnesota high school seniors earn college credits by the time they graduate from high school, according to a report on the Post-secondary Enrollment Options Program prepared by the Office of Internal Auditing at the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities.
Minnesota Measures: 2011 Report on Higher Education Performance, indicates more Minnesota students than ever are enrolling in post-secondary education, with 41 percent of 18-64 year olds attaining an associate degree or higher, ranking Minnesota sixth in the nation in educational attainment.
All these numbers from well-respected sources indicate that businesses are created, grown and stay in Minnesota because of our well-educated workforce. Forbes rates Minnesota as #15 in the “Best States for Business and Careers.” MarketWatch named the Twin Cities area the fourth best community for business in the nation, and CNBC ranked Minnesota as the eighth best state for business.
These rankings don’t happen by accident; citizens, government officials, and business leaders made decisions that have resulted in vibrant and thriving communities. I’ve been privileged to be a part of this wonderful effort.
Please continue to contact me with your ideas and input. It is an honor to represent you in the state legislature."
Rep. Bev Scalze
Serving Vadnais Heights, Little Canada, Shoreview, Roseville and Gem Lake