September 18, 2017

Educators for Excellence-Minnesota Responds to State School Accountability Plan Submitted Today to U.S. Department of Education


Educator-led group applauds key elements of the ESSA plan Minnesota submitted and calls for several specifics to be outlined during the implementation phase. 

September 18, 2017 (St. Paul, Minnesota) — The Minnesota Department of Education submitted the state’s proposed Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plan for review today, September 18, 2017. Educators for Excellence-Minnesota (E4E-Minnesota), a teacher-led organization, applauds key changes the Minnesota Department of Education made as a result of feedback during the public comment period. E4E-Minnesota looks forward to seeing several specifics outlined during the ESSA implementation phase, including details on how school performance will be reported to the public.

“It is critical that the accountability system’s indicators evaluate every school in Minnesota -  not just Title I schools -  on all subgroups. I think it’s a bold step towards equity to hold every single school accountable for all students and not allow schools to “hide” underperforming subgroups in their data,” said Anthony Hernandez, a second-grade teacher at Global Academy and member of E4E-Minnesota.

"The Minnesota Department of Education made some critical changes to the draft plan as a result of community feedback and we commend them for their willingness to listen and make improvements to the state’s plan based on what they heard,” said Madaline Edison, Executive Director of E4E-Minnesota. “We are eager to review feedback from the U.S. Department of Education and look forward to seeing the Minnesota Department of Education outline key details as the state moves forward implementing ESSA.”

In the final ESSA plan, the Minnesota Department of Education included three critical recommendations E4E-Minnesota submitted during the public comment period, including:

  • Establish a high bar for accountability and school improvement, including stronger exit criteria for schools identified in need of improvement and clearer definitions for school quality/student success indicators.
  • Hold schools that are identified for improvement accountable if they do not improve after three years of planning, and provide implementation and support from the Department by using more intense interventions.
  • Using attendance as an additional school quality indicator and including in- and out-of-school suspensions as “absences” to more accurately reflect students’ learning time in the classroom.

Going forward, E4E-Minnesota hopes to see more detail on how the Minnesota Department of Education plans to develop holistic school ratings that clearly communicate key information about accountability indicators for a school at-a-glance to families and the general public.