Minnesota | Understanding ESSA



April 30, 2015

Minnesota Releases Assessment Data & Accountability Plan Update

August 29, 2019

On August 29, Minnesota’s Department of Education released the state’s most recent statewide test scores, “along with a batch of other updated data the state uses to track schools’ performance.” Erin Golden and MaryJo Webster of the Minneapolis Star Tribune report that included in the...

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Local MN District Leveraging ESSA to Improve Special Ed Math Curriculum

October 8, 2018

Theresa Bourke reports about a local district’s effort to improve their special ed math curricula as part of their continuous improvement plan under ESSA. The district “began the initiative last year because data showed special education students—especially at the elementary and middle school levels—were not...

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How Minnesota’s ESSA Plan is Different…and How it is Being Received

September 21, 2018

Erin Hinrichs provides an excellent overview of Minnesota’s ESSA plan for MinnPost. Noting that while standardized testing still matters a “great deal,” the new North Star system is based on five key measurements, including “academic achievement, academic growth, progress toward English language proficiency for students...

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Minnesota Unveils New School Accountability System

August 28, 2018

Erin Golden and MaryJo Webster report for the Minneapolis Star Tribune that, under ESSA, Minnesota is “broadening its barometer for success to include high school graduation rates, attendance, progress made by students learning English, and students’ improvement on test scores,” and under these measures, about a quarter of schools...

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Grad Rates Don’t Necessarily = College and Career Readiness

January 24, 2018

MinnPost reports that, in light of the U.S. Department of Education’s recent approval of Minnesota’s ESSA plan, “establishing high graduation expectations seems essential to ensuring the state has a more equitable public education system.” But the gains so often celebrated on this issue are being...

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Minnesota “Wins Federal Approval”

January 12, 2018

In the Austin Daily Herald, Solvejg Wastvedt reports that the U.S. Department of Education has approved Minnesota’s ESSA plan, under which the state “will evaluate schools on five factors: state test scores, how many students move up a level on state tests, graduation rates, progress...

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Minnesota Responds to Federal Feedback

January 8, 2018

According to the Pioneer Press, Minnesota schools “must make across-the-board progress if they want to be released from the increased oversight and support provided to struggling schools under the state’s new education accountability plans.” This is just one of several aspects of the state’s ESSA...

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Minnesota Asked to Clarify School Improvement Plan

December 31, 2017

St. Paul Pioneer Press reporter Christopher Magan reports that, in mid-December, the U.S. Department of Education sent a letter to Minnesota Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius “asking state leaders to clarify several points of Minnesota’s new school accountability plan.” Minnesota was asked to clarify “how the...

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MN, NY, VA and WV Also Receive Fed. Feedback

December 20, 2017

Politico’s Morning Education reports that Minnesota, New York, Virginia and West Virginia also received federal feedback this week.

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MN Lawmakers Ask Feds to Reject State Plan

October 30, 2017

Three state legislators in Minnesota have written to U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and state Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius saying the state’s ESSA plan “lacks transparency and clarity” and “will not do enough for underperforming teachers and schools.”

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MN Submits its ESSA Plan to U.S. Dept. of Ed

September 18, 2017

After “years of intense pressure on school test scores, the state’s education department on Monday submitted” its ESSA plan to the federal government, which “broadens its previous reach—promising to evaluate more schools than before, and in a well-rounded fashion.

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MN Dept. of Ed Hosts Series of Public Meetings on ESSA Plan

August 17, 2017

The Minnesota Dept. of Education is “hitting the road this month” for a series of public meetings regarding the state’s ESSA plan.

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MN Draft Plan Available for Public Comment

August 11, 2017

The Minnesota Dept. of Education released the state’s draft ESSA plan for public review. Comments will be accepted until August 31.

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New MN Bill Requires Review of State’s ESSA Plan Prior to Submission

May 11, 2017

The Minnesota Legislature submitted a bill requiring members to review the state’s ESSA plan 30 days before submission to the Dept. of Education. The bill also “directs the commissioner to ensure there’s alignment with the existing state school accountability system, the World’s Best Workforce, to...

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MN Dept. of Ed Releases Preliminary Elements of ESSA Plan

April 19, 2017

The Minnesota Dept. of Education released preliminary elements of the state’s ESSA plan. These factors included details about testing frequency, indicators for identifying troubled schools, and plans for holding schools accountable.

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MN Educators and Education Advocates Work to Improve Accountability Laws Under ESSA

January 9, 2017

Members of the ESSA Educator Quality committee are working together to improve Minnesota’s accountability laws under ESSA. Richard Rosivach, a history teacher at Irondale High School and member of the committee, noted the group had “successfully worked through some difficult topics.”

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MN Dept. of Ed Announces Plans to Submit Draft ESSA Plan in Sept. 2017

January 7, 2017

Due to the extension of the original ESSA deadline, the Minnesota Dept. of Education announced they will submit their draft plan in September 2017. The department will facilitate “additional stakeholder engagement and community outreach.”

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MN Dept. of Ed Narrows Down Top Choice For Student Success Indicator

October 21, 2016

With the help of a multi-pronged work group, the Minnesota Dept. of Education (MDE) has already narrowed down a front runner to use as an indicator of school quality or student success in its accountability plan: chronic absenteeism. According to the Minnesota Post, “groups have...

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MN Dept. of Ed Conducts Second Round of Meetings to Engage Stakeholders

September 28, 2016

The Minnesota Dept. of Education will begin conducting their second round of regional meetings to engage with stakeholders around the state’s plan for ESSA implementation –  a total of six meetings beginning October 5th. Feedback from Minnesota’s July meetings has been posted to the site.

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MN Dept. of Ed Technical Committee Works to Define Accountability System Under ESSA

August 11, 2016

The Minnesota Dept. of Education’s technical committee, tasked to define Minnesota’s accountability system under ESSA, met last week for their third public meeting. In addition to summer meetings, committee meetings will continue in October, November and December.

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MN Recently Released Scores Show Significant Increase in Opt Outs

August 9, 2016

Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius commented on the recently-released scores for the 2016 Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments which showed a steep increase in the number of parents opting their students out of taking the state assessments. She notes that, “though ESSA requires that we continue testing, I...

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MN Educators, Lawmakers, and Community Members Discuss How to Comply with Federal Changes

July 21, 2016

State Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius led a forum last week, attended by nearly 300 educators, lawmakers, and community members, as part of ongoing efforts to gather input on how to comply with the federal changes. At the meeting, Cassellius noted that she hopes the updated...

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MN Education Commissioner to Host ESSA Meeting July

July 14, 2016

State Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius will host an ESSA meeting on July 20th.

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MN Dept. of Ed Plans to Hold Regional Meetings to Refine Framework

June 29, 2016

The state Dept. of Education released notes from several topic meetings held on ESSA earlier this spring. According to the Minnesota School Boards Association, the state will convene specific workgroups on key topics this summer that will contribute significantly to the state plan. In fall...

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U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Releases State ESSA Primers

May 16, 2016

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s primers include individual state by state accountability system fact sheets, which detail each state’s current accountability system, what could change under ESSA, and what to be asking state leaders. See details about your state here.

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MN Dept. of Ed Focus on Foster Care and Homeless Youth

May 5, 2016

State Dept. of Education hosted two more of its ESSA topic meetings which focused on foster care and homeless youth, as well as Title I schools. The state Dept. of Ed will hold regional meetings from August to October to lay out ESSA requirements and...

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100 Minnesota Stakeholders Discuss Revamping Accountability Systems

April 7, 2016

The State Dept. of Education held the first in a series of ESSA topic meetings. Nearly 100 stakeholders from many school boards, district personnel and other associations attended and discussed revamped accountability systems, specifically, the process used to identify schools for improvement or recognition. A...

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MN School Administrators Meet with Sen. Franken’s Advisers to Discuss ESSA

March 30, 2016

Last week, school administrators attended a meeting with two of Sen. Al Franken’s advisers to discuss ESSA. According to news coverage, many of the administrators were skeptical of the reform. The ESSA failed to address teacher shortages, financial needs and the lack of school facilities...

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