The first half of the Minnesota Department of Education’s (MDE) Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Topic Area Meetings was completed Monday morning with the topic of “Data Collection and Reporting.”
(See https://msbacapitolconnections.com/2016/04/25/every-student-succeeds-act-meeting-explores-standards-and-assessment for the Monday afternoon topic meeting on “Standards and Assessment.”)
As has been the practice in the previous sessions, MDE provided an overview of ESSA and the process of how the guidelines will be introduced and stakeholder’s input will be used to form work groups that will be convened after guidance is released. The work groups will collaborate to develop Minnesota’s plan.
To begin the discussion, it is important to understand how data collection and reporting are defined. Data collection refers to the systems used by MDE, school districts and other public agencies to gather data about students, teachers and schools. Data reporting refers to the systems used to share data about students, teachers and schools. The data reporting is shared with families, school districts, the federal government and the public. There are key elements that must be considered in data collection and reporting — including privacy, transparency, the usefulness in improving student outcomes, and disaggregation by student groups.
The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) required report cards that included data about student demographics and academic achievement at the school, district and statewide levels. The reporting emphasized disaggregation of student data by several elements, including race and free- and reduced-lunch status. However, if there are less than 10 students in a group, the report does not have to provide information. Individual student data is available to local education agencies (LEA) through secure MDE reports.
Under Minnesota’s flexibility waiver, schools’ Annual Yearly Progress (AYP) was reported as well as the new reporting system, the Multiple Measurements Rating (MMR) system. Under ESSA, Minnesota would still be required to set a minimum group size for reporting that protects individual privacy. ESSA’s accountability system will include measures of academic achievement, graduation rates, progress for English Language students and new indicator(s) of student success or school quality. ESSA still must look at data by major racial and ethnic groups, free- and reduced-lunch status, English Learner status and special education status. An additional indicator of student success or school quality could include homeless status, foster care status or even a student of an active duty military parent. The new report card requirements will require Minnesota to build new data collection systems.
The department continues to encourage all interested stakeholders to learn and contribute in this process. The next meeting on “Foster Care and Homeless Youth” is scheduled from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Monday, May 2, at the MDE office in Roseville (Conference Center B, Room 15).
Visit http://education.state.mn.us/MDE/SchSup/ESSA/MDE035276 for the complete meeting schedule.