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Test Scores Flat Despite Early Start In SW Minn.

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — An analysis shows nine extra days of teaching in 25 school districts in southwestern Minnesota before the high-stakes tests last spring didn’t budge the districts’ overall test scores.

However, a spokesman for the consortium says it remains committed to the idea that adding days in the summer will eventually pay off in higher student achievement.

When Department of Education gave the districts special permission to start before Labor Day in 2010, it required them to file annual reports of their progress. Those have now been filed.

There has been concern the early start would discourage students from the rural southwestern part of the state from participating in the State Fair. To the contrary, the report says 4-H coordinators in the consortium’s counties reported an increase in 4-H exhibitors.

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