Learn about the Minnesota plan for the Every Student Succeeds Act at MDE’s regional meetings


School leaders are invited to join Commissioner Brenda Cassellius and the Minnesota Department of Education for a regional meeting on the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

Learn and share your thoughts about ESSA and the vision for the Minnesota State Plan so far.

All meetings will run from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and scheduled for:

  • October 5: Duluth — Denfeld H.S. Auditorium, 401 N. 44th Avenue W.
  • October 6: Bemidji — Bemidji H.S. Performing Arts Center, 2900 Division Street W.
  • October 13: Marshall — Marshall M.S. Theater, 401 S. Saratoga
  • October 14: Rochester — Wood Lake Meeting Center, 210 Wood lake Drive SE
  • October 26: St. Cloud — Apollo H.S. Auditorium, 1000 44th Avenue N.
  • November 3: Burnsville — Diamondhead Education Center, 200 W. Burnsville Parkway

Register at http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/3048386/ba9fa2885e44.

See http://www.mnmsba.org/Portals/0/PDFs/ESSA-RegionalMeetingsInvitation.pdf for more information.

Posted in Advocacy, equity, ESSA, Every Student Succeeds Act, Minnesota Department of Education | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Last chance this week to attend an MSBA Advocacy Tour stop; resolutions are due September 30


If you haven’t attended a stop on the 2016 MSBA Statewide Advocacy Tour, this week marks your final chance!

This week’s meetings are scheduled for:

  • Tuesday: Sartell and Thief River Falls
  • Wednesday: Fergus Falls and Grand Rapids
  • Thursday: Cloquet and Walker

Walk-ins are welcome for all locations!

Dinner is served at 5 p.m. and the meetings get underway at 5:30 p.m.

Visit http://www.mnmsba.org/AdvocacyTour for venue and agenda information.

Last year’s Advocacy Tour was a catalyst for creating the Teacher Shortage Act. Let’s see what we can do together this year.


Also, MSBA is now accepting legislative resolutions from members through Friday, September 30. Good policymaking begins when a board or a board member identifies an issue that needs to be resolved or a new idea to be considered, and submits a solution in the form of a legislative resolution.

Members can download forms at http://tinyurl.com/2016-ResolutionForm.

Send questions to Grace Keliher (gkeliher@mnmsba.org) or Denise Dittrich (ddittrich@mnmsba.org).

The MSBA Delegate Assembly will debate and vote on submitted resolutions in December 2016.

Posted in Advocacy | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

ESSA committee covers accountability, WBWF alignment, testing at latest meeting


The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Accountability Advisory Committee held their third meeting on Thursday, September 15, in Roseville.

The committee’s agenda included:
1. Update Stakeholder engagement opportunities and ESSA Resource Kit
2. WBWF and ESSA Alignment
3. School Quality/Student Success Subcommittee Report
4. Advisory Committee Input Document (Draft)
5. Updated Process Agreement and Equity Definition
6. Wrap up and next steps

The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) will be going on the road to hold Every Student Succeeds Act Regional Meetings. Plan to attend a meeting in your area (venues and more details TBA):

  • October 5 — Duluth
  • October 6 — Bemidji
  • October 13 — Marshall
  • October 14 — Rochester
  • October 26 — St. Cloud
  • November 3 — Burnsville

MDE has updated its website at http://education.state.mn.us/MDE/dse/ESSA/meet to reflect the progress and activity of the committees. The site also provides information on some of the key areas being discussed, as well as an informational sheet with commonly asked questions that can be used to share information by education stakeholder groups.

Minnesota Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius addressed the group and discussed the World’s Best Workforce and ESSA alignment. In summary, she stated there are three other state accountability systems that need to be considered: the World’s Best Workforce, the Integration and Achievement program, and Q Comp (school Q Comp goals).

A key question: How do we get the World’s Best Workforce indicators to align and simplify our accountability system while not compromising student achievement?

Finally, Commissioner Cassellius pointed out that not every grade level that is tested needs to be included in the accountability system. For example, districts could test in every grade but only use the fifth-grade and eighth-grade testing outcomes as part of their accountability measure. At the high school level, a district could use a composite score of math and reading. This option could put a lot of pressure on fifth-grade and eighth-grade teachers. Grade configuration at elementary school and middle school also need to be considered.

Commissioner Cassellius raised another question: Who would support a district-level accountability system instead of the current system that uses individual school-level data reporting? This will be an important question in the development of Minnesota’s new accountability system.

The School Quality or Student Success Subcommittee provided an update after meeting two times. They reported on two issues: (1) chronic absenteeism and (2) career and college readiness.

  • Chronic absenteeism or some other attendance-based calculation could be an indicator of school climate and student engagement.
  • Career and college readiness options. Participation in one of a range of high school programs (AP tests, career and tech programs) could be an indicator of access to career and college readiness opportunities. The subcommittee was clear that they could not reach consensus on moving this item forward because districts are in different places in terms of career and tech programs and postsecondary options.

The best option seems to be the percent of students who are accessing career and technical education (CTE), Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), Concurrent Enrollment and PSEO. Measures are difficult — participation or preparedness? Some districts may not have a PSEO option, AP or IB option. Equity in access to these programs does not currently exist — this presents a problem when developing an accountability system around this measurement.

The Accountability Advisory Committee’s next meeting is schedules for 5:30 p.m. Thursday, September 29, at the MDE office in Roseville.

See http://education.state.mn.us/MDE/about/cal/MDE058106 for meeting information.

Posted in ESSA, Every Student Succeeds Act, World's Best Workforce | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

U.S. House passes bill to strengthen career and technical education


Source: U.S. House Education and the Workforce Committee

Republican and Democratic members of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce praised House passage of H.R. 5587, the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, on Tuesday, September 13.

Introduced by Reps. Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA) and Katherine Clark (D-MA), the legislation reauthorizes and reforms the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act to help more Americans enter the workforce with the skills they need to compete for high-skilled, in-demand jobs. The members also called on their colleagues in the Senate to take up this bipartisan legislation.

“Career and technical education plays a powerful and positive role in helping individuals obtain the skills they need to be competitive in today’s workforce. As co-chair of the House Career and Technical Education Caucus, I was proud to join with Rep. Clark in introducing this bill,” Rep. Thompson said. “With passage of the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, the House has taken a significant step toward helping more Americans pursue fulfilling and successful futures. I am happy we were able to work in a bipartisan manner on this important issue and look forward to our continued efforts to ensure career and technical education provides many more students with a path to success.”

“Millions of students and workers are eager to advance in good paying, high demand technical careers,” Rep. Clark said. “Their work is critical to the nation’s continued leadership in a 21st century global economy. Today’s passage of our bill to strengthen career and technical education programs is a victory for millions of hardworking families who deserve a path to success. Now, I call on Democrats and Republicans in the Senate to come together and pass similar commonsense legislation.”

“Career and technical education has helped individuals from all walks of life achieve success, and this proposal will empower more Americans to write their own success stories,” Chairman John Kline (R-MN) said. “I want to thank Representatives Thompson and Clark for putting forward a bipartisan proposal that will help students obtain the skills necessary for good-paying jobs and fulfilling careers. At a time when many individuals are searching for work and employers have jobs to fill, these reforms are urgently needed and long overdue. I encourage my colleagues in the Senate to take up this bipartisan bill without delay and join us in empowering more men and women to achieve a lifetime of success.”

“Our nation’s students are counting on us to make sure they are armed with the skills and knowledge that today’s employers demand,” Ranking Member Bobby Scott (D-VA) said. “Modern CTE programs help ensure students receive a foundational education, which can help them succeed in their work. This bipartisan, comprehensive reauthorization will improve program quality and services for students most in need of excellent academic content and real-world, work-based skill development. I now call on my colleagues in the Senate to take up and pass this consensus legislation for our nation’s students and workforce.”

BACKGROUND: Since 1984, the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act has provided federal support to state and local career and technical education (CTE) programs. These programs offer students the opportunity to gain the knowledge, skills, and experience necessary to compete for jobs in a broad range of fields, such as health care and technology. However, because federal law has not been updated in more than a decade, it no longer reflects the realities and challenges facing students and workers.

Building on recent reforms to K-12 education and the workforce development system, Reps. Thompson and Clark — along with Reps. Bradley Byrne (R-AL), Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), Jim Langevin (D-RI), and Rick Nolan (D-MN) introduced the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act. The bipartisan legislation — approved unanimously by the committee — will:

  • Deliver states more flexibility to use federal resources in response to changing education and economic needs.
  • Ensure career and technical education prepares all students, including historically disadvantaged and vulnerable students, for success in high-skill, high-wage occupations and careers in nontraditional fields.
  • Improve alignment with in-demand jobs by supporting innovative learning opportunities, building better community partnerships, and encouraging stronger engagement with employers.
  • Enhance career and technical education through increased focus on employability skills, work-based learning opportunities, and meaningful credentialing so students are prepared to enter the workforce poised for success.
  • Streamline performance measures to ensure career and technical education programs deliver results for students and taxpayers.
  • Reduce administrative burdens and simplify the process for states to apply for federal resources.
  • Reward success and innovation by directing federal resources to replicate promising practices that best serve students and employers.
  • Provide parents, students, and stakeholders a voice in setting performance goals and evaluating the effectiveness of local programs.
  • Empower state and local leaders to develop plans that improve the quality of career and technical education and take into account unique ‎local and state needs.

Click here to learn more about H.R. 5587.

Posted in 2016 U.S. Congress, career and technical education | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Gov. Dayton orders flags at half-staff for anniversary of 9/11 attacks


Source: Office of Governor Mark Dayton & Lt. Governor Tina Smith

In observance of the 15th anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Gov. Mark Dayton has ordered all United States flags and Minnesota flags be flown at half-staff at all state and federal buildings in the state of Minnesota from sunrise until sunset on Sunday, September 11, 2016.

As a mark of respect for the victims of this tragedy, Gov. Dayton has proclaimed Sunday to be “Patriot Day and A Day of Service and Remembrance” in the state of Minnesota. In solidarity with the rest of the nation, the Governor asks all Minnesotans to observe the National Moment of Silence at 7:46 a.m. Central Daylight Time.

Gov. Dayton has further directed the Minnesota Department of Transportation to light the I-35W Bridge in Minneapolis the colors of the United States flag on Sunday, September 11, 2016, in honor of victims of the attacks.

President Barack Obama asks that the people of the United States participate in community service in honor of those our nation lost, and observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities, including remembrance services.

Posted in Flags at Half-Staff | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Capitol Report” returns with look at state’s changing demographics


Source: Senate Media Service

Senate Media Services’ “Capitol Report” program returns to PBS stations this weekend. The program has been in hiatus for two years following the closing of the State Capitol studio. Thanks to the Minnesota Public Television Association (MPTA) stations, the program is broadcast on several PBS channels throughout Minnesota. A link to the list of broadcast stations and times is below.

On this week’s program, “Capitol Report” moderator Shannon Loehrke delves into the changing state demographics in the first of a two-part series. Minnesota’s population is becoming more ethnically diverse, and the percentage of residents nearing retirement is growing.

Shannon talks with State Demographer Susan Brower about the potential impact of the demographic changes on state policymaking. Department of Human Services Commissioner Emily Johnson Piper explains what her agency is doing to address the growing health care demands resulting from an aging population. Sen. Jeff Hayden, DFL-Minneapolis, features the work of the Minnesota Legislature during the 2016 session to help curb the economic disparities experienced by some cultural groups. Finally, Sen. Bill Weber, R-Luverne, who represents an increasingly diverse rural district, explains some of the community efforts underway to accommodate the trends.

View the program online on the Senate Media Services’ web page at http://www.senate.mn/media or YouTube page at https://youtu.be/E_Rbg2LmGsc.

Visit http://www.senate.mn/media/media_coming_up.php?ls for a list of broadcast times and stations.

Posted in Minnesota Senate | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

MSBA Advocacy Tour kicks off Thursday in North Mankato and Rochester


The 2016 MSBA Statewide Advocacy Tour gets underway Thursday, September 8, with stops in North Mankato and Rochester. Both meetings begin at 5 p.m.

With the 2016 session in the rearview mirror, our sights have been set on what’s ahead in the 2017 legislative session. Last year’s Advocacy Tour was a catalyst for creating the Teacher Shortage Act. Let’s see what we can do together this year.

Please visit http://www.mnmsba.org/AdvocacyTour for the complete schedule and meeting agenda.


Posted in Advocacy, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment