Blog posts from 2018

May 23, 2018 · By Sara Kemper

Earlier this year, Julie Cook published a compelling post about her complicated relationship with teaching—one that ultimately led her to a long-term career at her school.

I was the teacher who left.

Bewildered by the unrelenting demands of the job, and not impermeable to the demoralized banter of my colleagues, I left my 5th grade teaching post—and the teaching profession—after...

May 17, 2018 · By Marcus Penny

On May 10, the Minnesota Association of Charter Schools recognized four schools at the third annual Innovation Awards event. Additionally, under a new award program established this year, one educator was honored with the Minnesota Charter School Leadership Award.

Innovation Awards categories are derived from Minnesota statute (124E.01), which defines the purposes of charter schools in the state:

  • Increase Learning...
May 10, 2018 · By Marcus Penny

Deanna Hron—a kindergarten teacher at King Elementary School in rural Deer River, MN—received the Educator Leadership Award at the Community Schools National Forum in Baltimore last week, in recognition of her “strong leadership in advocating for community schools.”

She was one of two recipients for this national honor, and was recognized in front of over 2,000 community schools practitioners, families, youth, nonprofit and education leaders...

April 25, 2018 · By Krista Kaput

On Friday, April 20, the Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board (PELSB) met to do final interviews for the three finalists for the executive director position, as well as to go over the new rule draft. The day prior, the three finalists had answered questions that had been provided by the public. The three finalists were:

  1. Jennifery...
April 10, 2018 · By Krista Kaput

Last week, the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) held the last meeting of their Reporting and Recognition Committee, which was formed after MDE submitted the state’s Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plan to the US Department of Education (USDE) in September 2017.

The Committee was formed because there were a couple of key components that did not have to be finalized by the September submission deadline—namely, school recognition and data reporting—but on which MDE needed to receive stakeholder input. In order to get feedback in these two areas, MDE created two Subcommittees...

April 3, 2018 · By Krista Kaput

While the legislature takes a break this week to observe Easter and Passover, we wanted to provide an overview of some of the most talked about education policy topics, so far, from the 2018 Minnesota legislative session. Even though it’s not a budget year, Governor Dayton’s last session is shaping up to be filled with important and contentious discussions. From school safety to “Academic Balance,” the education policy topics discussed at the Capitol have touched on issues that are relevant in the current national and state political climate.

This post will discuss four education...

March 29, 2018 · By Krista Kaput

On February 22, the Innovation Research Zones (IRZ) Advisory Panel convened to decide which of the nine IRZ applications they would recommend to Commissioner Cassellius for approval. An important note: the IRZ legislation put a cap on the number of IRZs the Commissioner could approve—up to three in the seven-county metropolitan area and up to three in greater Minnesota.

The Panel decided to recommend four for approval, which were subsequently approved by the Commissioner...

March 22, 2018 · By Krista Kaput

On Friday, March 16 the Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board (PELSB) hosted a meeting at the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) in order to receive public input on PELSB’s rule draft for the new, four-tiered teacher licensure system.

However, the rulemaking process for PELSB hasn’t been the smoothest. Originally, they were on a tight timeline to have the rules done by July 1, 2018, the date prescribed in statute. They had also had a March 2 hearing scheduled, which would have moved...

March 13, 2018 · By Krista Kaput

On January 3, the US Department of Education (USDE) issued a notice informing states that they can apply for the Innovative Assessment Pilot, which is part of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). States were encouraged, but not required, to inform USDE by February 2 if they intended to apply.

Four states—Arizona, Hawaii, Louisiana, and New Hampshire—told USDE they are interested in applying to participate in the Pilot. However, this is not binding. Other states could apply by the April 2...

March 6, 2018 · By Krista Kaput

Last week, the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) released the four-year graduation rates for the class of 2017, which reached a new statewide high of 82.7 percent overall. The statement also touted the narrowing of the graduation gap between white students and students of color. Specifically, in 2012, white students graduated at a rate 26.5 percentage points higher than students of color. The new 2017 data...

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