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Published January 10, 2012, 09:24 PM

Sen. Al Franken on Education, Jobs, and Lockout

GRAND FORKS, ND (WDAZ-TV) - Minnesota Senator Al Franken says locked out Sugar workers he met with today are hurting, and he hopes he can help get American Crystal and the union back to the bargaining table.

GRAND FORKS, ND (WDAZ-TV) - Minnesota Senator Al Franken says locked out Sugar workers he met with today are hurting, and he hopes he can help get American Crystal and the union back to the bargaining table.

Education is a large part of what Senator Franken says he stands for, and he says a strong education is key to the creation of jobs and careers.

"I think there was about a 90% agreement on what isn't working with no child left behind and about a 75% agreement on what to do," said Senator Al Franken.

The existing "no child left behind" law requires one written test at the end of April, but teachers don't get results until school is out. If a bill Franken worked on in committee were to become law, teachers would get quicker, usable results from computer tests multiple times a year.

"They're adaptive so that if a kid is getting them all right they get harder if they're getting them all wrong they get easier and you can test of of grade level which the no child left behind thing prohibits," said Franken.

Franken says people need education that will allow them to create careers.

"The industries that are emerging as the largest growing industries of the top 20, 18 require "STEM" skills, science, technology, engineering, and math skills," said Franken.

Franken says fixing the deficit is going to be a top priority when congress reconvenes, but in the mean time he's busy trying to make amends between American Crystal and its locked out workers. He met with them earlier today.

"People are really hurting," said Franken.

He says talking to ACS President Dave Berg is the next step.

"About what I heard at this meeting, want to make him aware of it, get his reaction and hear his side. Do everything I can to get this done as soon as possible," said Franken.

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