7-Point Plan

In February 2011, Governor Dayton launched a 7-Point Plan for Excellence in Education.  These seven points lay the framework for a long-term vision for Pre K–12 education in Minnesota over the coming years.

Fundamental to the 7-Point Plan is the belief that an aligned vision for educational excellence must be created from the ground up.  Stakeholder engagement and collaborative partnerships are essential to our success.  Equally important is to build on our strengths. That concept – “taking what’s good and making it better” – provides a clear path for Minnesota to create a strong system of public schools, in which excellent teaching and learning are recognized, supported and celebrated, every day, in every school.

This page shows how the Minnesota Department of Education is responding to the Governor's call for excellence. We want to let you know when we begin new initiatives or reach important milestones.


1.  Funding for the Future
  • Invest in early childhood:  No cuts to PreK programs such as HeadStart, ECFE, or Community Education; secured $4 million in early childhood scholarships for at-risk children in the 2011 legislative session.
  • All day kindergarten:  Provided additional  flexibility for school districts which may be used for all-day K programs.
  • Establish Governor’s Commission of Better School Funding: A bipartisan workgroup of experts provided a report to the Governor in May of 2011.
  • Invest in strategies that close the achievement gap and target resources to the classroom:
*   Minnesota’s new accountability system, as outlined in the NCLB waiver, will allow school districts and the state to allocate resources to schools with greatest need.
*   Protected Integration Revenue Program funding through 2013. An integration revenue replacement task force was established to develop recommendations for repurposing integration revenue funds to create and sustain opportunities for students to achieve improved educational outcomes. The task force must consider how districts may effectively narrow and close the achievement gap and foster academic success for students.  
*   Protected compensatory funding and linking of that funding.
*   Added $50 dollars each year of biennium and increased funding $132 million.
*   Protected special education growth factor of 4.6 percent or $48 million.

2.  Better Early Childhood Education
  • Expand K-12 system into a comprehensive preK-12 system:  The new Office of Early Learning will align early learning initiatives across agencies to  provide for seamless support of high-quality early education. 
  • A new Children’s Cabinet and Early Learning Council will bring heightened focus to early learning statewide.
  • Implement clearly defined school readiness standards:  Submitted broadly supported Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge application which clearly defines our early learning focus to provide high-quality early learning in Minnesota.

3.  Raise the Bar- Close the Gap
  • Set accountability targets to close achievement gaps:  A new school report card and web-based data center will report achievement targets for schools and districts.
  • Enacted English Learner (WIDA) standards to provide additional support for English Language Learners.

4. Reading Well by 3rd Grade
  • Launch Statewide Literacy Campaign:  MDE and the State Literacy Team are developing a literacy framework that will provide guidance to districts wishing to create their own local literacy plans. 
  • Beginning in October, MDE is offering a monthly Read Well by Third Grade professional learning series for district and school leaders.  
  • Secured Literacy Aid to reward schools for 3rd-grade reading results and 3rd-to-4th-grade growth.

5. Support Teaching for Better Schools
  • Passed Alternative Certification for Licensure Bill.
  • Passed Principal Evaluation Bill.
  • Passed Teacher Evaluation Bill.
  • Race to the Top will define highly qualified training for PreK Teachers.

6. Better Testing for Better Results
  • New online assessments will be computer-adaptive and can be administered up to three times a year.
  • NCLB waiver will provide a new multiple-measure-based accountability model.

7. A Department that Provides Educational Leadership and Support
  • Restructured the agency to create the Office of Early Learning, Office of Student Support, and Office of Educator Excellence.
  • Launched an accessible and user friendly website in December 2011.
  • Shifted mission to reflect agency wide goals of offering strategic support and technical assistance to teachers, schools and districts.

  • 7-Point Plan 
    Governor Dayton's 7-Point Plan for improving education in Minnesota