The Education Evolving Blog

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...

February 20, 2018 · By Lars Esdal

Last year Education Evolving engaged in a visioning and stakeholder engagement process to describe what we mean when we say “student-centered learning”—a term we use to guide and orient our organization’s program.

This work yielded seven principles of student-centered learning, which we found are present in the learning experiences students have when schools are equitably designed with students’ unique needs, interests, identities, aspirations, and voices at the center.

Building on this work, we’re excited to announce...

January 11, 2018 · By Krista Kaput

On January 10th, Secretary DeVos notified the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) that their Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) accountability plan has been approved. In the letter, Secretary DeVos congratulated Commissioner Cassellius on the approved plan and “for the important work that you and your staff [MDE] are doing to support the transition to the ESSA and most importantly to lead Minnesota’s students to achieve higher levels.”

The road to creating the...

December 19, 2017 · By Krista Kaput

Last week we wrote about Minnesota’s November budget forecast, which showed that the state is projected to have a $188 million deficit for the final year of the 2018 and 2019 biennium. While the small deficit is hardly a cause for alarm, the forecast did indicate that unexpected cost increases in special education services is one of the biggest drivers of the deficit...

December 14, 2017 · By Krista Kaput

Last week, the Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) Office released the November Budget and Economic Forecast for the state, which showed a $188 million projected deficit for the final year of the 2018 and 2019 biennium.

According to the forecast, the deficits are due to a reduced U.S. economic growth forecast and impacts of legislation enacted during the 2017 session. The forecast also noted, “At this time, it is unclear what tax law changes will emerge from the U.S. Congress and how those...

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