Topic: Differentiated School Improvement System
The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) held the second of several topic meetings Tuesday morning regarding the new federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Following much of the same format as the first meeting, there was an overview of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and Minnesota’s NCLB Flexibility Waiver as it relates to school improvement.
MDE’s existing initiatives around school improvement include:
- Six Regional Centers of Excellence (RCE) were created to provide a coherent statewide system of differentiated support that could help institute sustainable and meaningful change.
- Turnaround supports for schools, such as annual grants to Minneapolis Public Schools and St. Paul Public Schools, School Improvement Grants (currently 10 grants utilizing four-year implementation models) and Graduation Focus Schools.
- State Systemic Improvement Plan (SSIP) is a comprehensive, ambitious, yet achievable six-year plan to improve results for children and youth with disabilities and their families. This program is required by the Office of Special Education Programs as a part of shifting their focus from compliance to more emphasis on results.
- Other existing initiatives include supports for standards-based implementation, supports for alternative schools and at-risk students, and data systems to inform about school and district improvement.
ESSA requires a state education agency to support schools identified for comprehensive support and improvement. These would be the lowest 5 percent of schools on the accountability system — high schools with graduation rates less than 67 percent and/or schools where any student group (based on race/ethnicity, disability status, and economic status) routinely performs at the same level as schools in the lowest 5 percent. Identified schools must have support and improvement plans that are evidence-based and approved by schools and districts. If schools don’t improve within a four-year period, then the state is expected to take more rigorous action. The state set-aside for school improvement supports changes from 4 percent to 7 percent.
MDE’s next two ESSA topic meetings are both scheduled for Monday, April 18:
- Early Learning from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., Conference Center B, Room 15
- English Learners from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., Conference Center, Room 16
MSBA encourages its members to attend one of these meetings. Please see the remaining topics and schedule below.
- All meetings will be held at the MDE office in Roseville in Conference Center B (CCB) in Room 15 or Room 16.
- For directions to the MDE, visit https://education.state.mn.us/MDE/Welcome/Direc.
Topic: Early Learning
April 18 – 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. – CCB, Room 15
Topic: English Learners
April 18 – 1 p.m to 3 p.m. – CCB, Room 16
Topic: Data Collection and Reporting
April 25 – 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. – CCB, Room 15
Topic: Standards and Assessment
April 25 – 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. – CCB, Room 16
Topic: Foster Care and Homeless Youth
May 2 – 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. – CCB, Room 15
Topic: Guidance Regarding Title Programs and Requirements
May 4 – 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. – CCB, Room 16
Topic: Social-Emotional Learning, School Climate, Healthy Learning Environments
May 11 – 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. – CCB, Room 15
Topic: Family Engagement
May 12 – 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. – CCB, Room 16
Topics and schedule are also available at http://education.state.mn.us/MDE/SchSup/ESSA/MDE035276 or www.mnmsba.org/Portals/0/PDFs/MDE-ESSA-MeetingSchedule.pdf.