The Education Evolving Blog

May 22, 2017 · By Lars Esdal

The word "innovation" is in vogue. Back in March, during our committee testimony on the Innovation Zone bill in the Minnesota Senate, I used the term myself. But what does it really mean? Is it synonymous with "invention," or does it include spreading existing ideas? Is it about creating new schools, or about improving what's being done? To clarify this sometimes fuzzy term, and to explore its role in the strategy for improving public education, I offer here a definition.

Most...

May 17, 2017 · By Krista Kaput

Recently, the New York Times published an op-ed that drew a distinction between “vouchers (coupons that let parents use their tax dollars for private schools) and charter schools (public schools that operate outside the usual bureaucracy)”. The article argued that vouchers have generally offered disappointing results, while charter schools have, in many places, provided innovative options for students who have not been well-served in the traditional system.

A crucial difference...

May 9, 2017 · By Krista Kaput

On May 4th, during National Charter School Week, the Minnesota Association of Charter schools (MACS) honored four Minnesota charter schools at the 2nd Annual Minnesota Charter School Innovation Awards program. The schools were chosen for their innovative practices in one of the following categories:

  • Increased learning opportunities for all pupils
  • Different and innovative teaching methods
  • Different and innovative forms of measuring...
May 4, 2017 · By Krista Kaput

On Tuesday, the K-12 Conference Committee discussed an Education Omnibus Bill. At the meeting, a delete all amendment was presented and Commissioner Cassellius gave comments. We are now waiting for the Committee to reconvene to discuss and possibly entertain amendments before it is adopted. Noticeably absent is the overhaul of the teacher...

April 26, 2017 · By Krista Kaput

On April 18th, the Minnesota Department of Education’s (MDE) Charter Center announced the winners of the fall 2016 round of federal Charter School Program (CSP) Startup and Replication/Expansion grants. The six winners are described below.

Startup Grants

  • Marine Area Community School (Marine): Authorized by the Minnesota Guild of Public Charter Schools (Guild), Marine will be open for the 2017-18 academic year and serve K-6 students in Marine on the St. Croix. According to the school’s website, the...
April 20, 2017 · By Lars Esdal

For over 30 years, Education Evolving has asserted and demonstrated that to make learning more personalized, student-centered, relevant, and engaging, teaching professionals—who know and understand individual student and community needs—should have much larger roles as designers and decision-makers in schools. We now know of over 110 schools in 18 states where teachers do have these larger professional roles, and their network is growing. We call them...

April 13, 2017 · By Krista Kaput

“What does the future of learning look like? And how will we create it?”

Those two questions were posed yesterday at the orientation session for School Design for Individualized Learning, a joint initiative of the Bush Foundation and 2Revolutions that aims to “inspire, equip, and connect educators who want to reimagine the purpose and structure of school.”

Over 120 educators, administrators, and education advocates gathered in St. Paul to learn about the principles of individualized...

April 5, 2017 · By Krista Kaput

Monday was the first, official deadline for states to submit their Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) accountability plans. In total, fifteen states and the District and of Columbia (DC), submitted their plans to either the US Department of Education (USDE) or their governor for review. States that submitted the plan to their governor will have until May 3rd to officially turn it into USDE.

The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) did not submit the State’s plan on Monday. Instead, they opted to turn it in on September 18, USDE’s second and final deadline. However, since July...

March 28, 2017 · By Lars Esdal

"What gets measured gets done," goes the old adage. And many of those pushing for deeper, personalized, student-centered learning point to the scope of most current assessments, which cover a narrow set of rote skills in reading and math, as helping to perpetuate an industrial-era model of school.

Fortunately, much progress has been made over the last several years in developing new measures. Projects such as NGLC's Assessment for Learning Initiative; the Gordon Commission...

March 23, 2017 · By Krista Kaput

Minnesota has an extreme shortage of teachers of color and American Indian teachers. According to a recent report by the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE), teachers of color and American Indian teachers comprise only 4.23 percent of Minnesota teachers, as compared to 31 percent of students.

The severity of the problem is further exacerbated when the data is disaggregated by ethnicity.

...

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Special Series

Chartering in Minnesota will be a topic of focus on this blog in 2016. We'll cover the innovation occurring in the sector's schools, new starts and school closures, personnel changes, legislative and rule making activity, the authorizer review process, and more.

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