The Education Evolving Blog

June 29, 2017 · By Krista Kaput

Over the past 20 years, the number of English learner (EL) students in Minnesota has increased by 300 percent, making them the state’s fastest growing student group, and they currently constitute 8.3 percent of the state’s K-12 public education student enrollment. However, despite the rapid growth, their academic progress, as compared to their non-EL peers, has stalled.

In order to address the gaps that EL students face in the state’s public education system, the Coalition of Asian American Leaders and the Minnesota Educational Equity Partnership founded the...

June 19, 2017 · By Krista Kaput

“How can you meet the needs of each student?” New Hampshire’s Deputy Commissioner Paul Leather asked a crowd of teachers, administrators, legislators, and organizational leaders. “Hold that question in your mind as you do the work.”

Last Thursday, about 100 attendees gathered to hear and learn about New Hampshire’s first-of-its-kind Performance Assessment of Competency Education (PACE) state accountability system from two of its architects—Deputy Commissioner Leather, and the state’s PACE curriculum director,...

June 16, 2017 · By Krista Kaput

This past week over 4,200 advocates, teachers, policymakers, administrators, consultants, and board members attended the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools’ (NAPCS) 2017 National Charter School Conference in Washington DC.

The conference boasted over 135 sessions, which were broken into five different strands—governance, policy, leadership, operations, and instruction. Some of the “featured” topics included social-emotional learning, innovation in K-12, in-house teacher prep, the role of charter authorizers, and how ESSA will...

June 7, 2017 · By Krista Kaput

This post is the fourth in our series, (see earlier posts from June 2016, Sept. 2016, and Dec. 2016) on the progress that the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) has made developing the state’...

May 31, 2017 · By Krista Kaput

Last night, Governor Dayton signed the policy and funding bills that laid out Minnesota’s next two-year, $46 billion dollar budget, which includes over $18 billion for K-12 education.

However, even though Governor Dayton signed the bills, he used his line-item veto power to eliminate funding for the Legislature, which will likely force another special session. In a letter to the Speaker and Majority leaders, Governor Dayton asserted that he would only...

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.


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...


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