ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Gov. Mark Dayton wants to cut the number of standardized tests for Minnesota students by a third.

The Democratic governor says teachers spend too much time administering and preparing students for those tests. He wrote in a letter to lawmakers Friday too much testing stifles teachers' creativity and makes them less effective.

Dayton wants to scale back testing while keeping the state's ability to track student achievement. He calls it a "reasonable approach" to testing.

An education working group last month recommended removing a few tests from state curriculums. The governor says those ideas don't go far enough.

The federal No Child Left Behind act requires yearly standardized tests. Minnesota is one of more than 40 states allowed to deviate from the law.