Our 2024 policy priorities

Student-centered learning designs, educator talent pathways, and outcomes that matter

February 20, 2024 • Marcus Penny

We saw big victories at the legislature last spring. As a result, much of our policy work is focused on implementation this year. This legislative session is looking a little quieter—and not just for EE.

“We’re going to be tweaking and clarifying this next session,” Senate Education Policy Chair Steve Cwodzinski told MPR about the legislature’s narrower scope before lawmakers gaveled back.

Below are a few of the top policy priorities we’re working on right now.

An icon of a pencil crossed with a ruler

OUR ASK: Enable, encourage, and equip educators to shift learning from one-size-fits-all, to personalized, learner-driven, and culturally affirming.

  • Social Studies Standards and Ethnic Studies: Teach a more honest & inclusive shared story.
    New standards and an ethnic studies bill passed in 2023 mark major progress in enabling students to see themselves reflected in what they learn. In 2024, we’re working with the MDE and supporting school leaders around the state to see these new policies through.
  • Personalized, Competency-Based Education: Prioritize outcomes & growth, not ticking boxes.
    We’re advocating for policy to encourage learning that places student mastery of future-ready knowledge and skills over time in seats—and support HF3363 and SF4188, bills for personalized, competency-based learning being considered by the legislature right now.
An icon of a person and mountains

OUR ASK: Advance policies, programs, and pathways that recruit, prepare, and retain innovative and talented educators who reflect the communities they serve.

  • Teacher Licensure: Clear barriers to licensure for talented, diverse teachers.
    50+ teachers of heritage languages have started down a new innovative and flexible licensure pathway we championed, which passed into law in 2023. In 2024, we’re working with educators and the teacher licensing board to ensure the successful implementation of this new pathway.
  • Teacher Preparation: Build innovative & accessible on-ramps to teaching.
    We hold firm in support of alternative teacher preparation programs, and specific innovative preparation models like Grow Your Own programs, Teacher Residencies, and Microcredential-based programs.
  • We’re in a supporting role on the Teachers of Color and American Indian Teachers Coalition (TOCAIT).
An arrow in a bullseye and a zig-zagging line representing growth

OUR ASK: Push schools, districts, and states to define, measure, and be accountable for broader forms of student academic, social, emotional, and civic success.

  • Better State Assessments: Provide more timely, actionable data on deeper student learning.
    Assessments must measure true growth, so that the learning of all students counts, with results easier to understand. Further, we must innovate with assessments that capture deep, applied learning. Later this spring, watch for our forthcoming paper with detailed policy recommendations on this topic.
  • Broader, Richer Data: Capture a more holistic picture of student experiences & development.
    We’re urging state officials to adopt our recommendations to be able to capture richer statewide data on things like school culture, student engagement, mental health, and social-emotional growth. Namely, the MN Student Survey must be shorter and better inform learning.
  • We participate in the Minnesota Literacy Coalition. Our unique focus within that coalition is advocating that state academic standards and assessments must align with the science of reading.