Looking back, 2013 was really a monumental year for education in Minnesota. It was a year that saw tremendous investment in our schools, nearly $500 million, as well as a payback of the state’s longstanding I.O.U. to districts, also known as the school shift.
Minnesota’s youngest learners will benefit from new funding that provides access to pre-kindergarten options through state scholarships for low income families as well as all-day, optional, kindergarten for every single child.
Meanwhile, important steps were taken to rethink how we assess students. A previous test required for graduation was removed with new tests being put in place that will provide information on a student’s college readiness. These tests will not only ensure a student gets the instruction necessary to succeed in college and career, for the first time ever there will be a test given to everyone in high school that will be accepted for college admission for all Minnesota State Colleges and University (MnSCU) campuses.
These are just a few of the many incredible efforts taken in 2013 to ensure every child has the chance to succeed.
But 2013 was also a year where we saw that the tide is turning for students across this state. With the release of the Nation’s Report Card, we saw that not only were Minnesota fourth grade students at the top of the nation in math, we have started closing achievement gaps for our students of color.
But that’s not all. More of our kindergarteners are ready for school than ever before. And over 70 percent of schools identified as the lowest performing in the state made tremendous progress and are now leading efforts to close achievement gaps.
While we celebrate these successes, a New Year means a new chance to put the pedal to the metal, to accelerate efforts that are working and identify areas that need improvement. This is how we will ensure that Minnesota students are not only nation leaders, but world leaders. Our kids only get one chance at a childhood and we need to make sure we do our part to provide them with as many opportunities to thrive as possible.
So, as we kick off 2014, the Minnesota Department of Education would like to introduce blogg[ED]MN, a new blog that will offer information on the state of education in Minnesota. From updates on new efforts, investments and policies to interviews with education leaders and profiles of innovative schools, blogg[ED]MN will offer provide a place where you can stay up to date on what’s going on in Minnesota education.
We plan to update the blog regularly, so check back often, or bookmark this page for easy access, we hope you find this tool a helpful resource and if you have any tips for a post you would like to see let us know.
Happy 2014, let’s make this another incredible year for our kids.