Universal Pre-K for Minnesota 4-year-olds!

A new report issued by the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) shows that Minnesota ranks last out of the 41 states with pre-K programs for access for 4-year-olds. Governor Mark Dayton continues his push to expand access to preschool for every 4-year-old, free of charge; and expand eligibility for the state’s early learning scholarship program. Visit NIEER website and read the report. Read news release.

2015 Scholars of Distinction

This weekend, 48 distinguished Minnesota high school students were honored at the Scholars of Distinction award program in the areas of Science, STEM, Mathematics, Social Studies, Leadership and Theater Arts. To earn recognition, a student must complete required work in Minnesota’s academic standards, demonstrate mastery of complex subject matter, and apply their knowledge and skills on challenging projects. Read news release with list of scholars and projects.

Top 25 Innovations in Government

The Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, recognized Minnesota’s Regional Centers of Excellence as a Top 25 program in 2015 awards competition. Through a combination of professional development, on-site technical assistance, and ongoing support, the centers use student data to help narrow achievement gaps, increase students' progress toward career and college readiness, and increase graduation rates. Read news release.

Early Education Policy Forum

A variety of budget proposals have been presented and are now under consideration by the Legislature. The different investment priorities represent a range of choices from targeted scholarships for low income children to universal pre-K for all 4 year-olds. Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius joined five other panelists on Tuesday in a discussion intended to clarify and share ideas.

High Fives for Head Start! 

Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius visited the Head Start program she attended as a child --the Glendale Early Childhood Family Development Center. She was joined by Head Start Mpls. Executive Director Alyce Dillon and Director Rico Alexander. Head Start promotes school readiness for low-income children by enhancing their cognitive, social, and emotional development, and by providing their families with health, educational, nutritional and other services. Read news release.

Commissioner and Governor Join in on the Learning with Pre-K Students and Staff at EXPO Elementary 
Grant Two Bulls, student speaker and honoree, 2015 Scholars of Distinction Award ceremony
2015 Top Innovations in Government Award
Young students gain new skills in early learning classroom 
Commissioner Gives a High Five to Head Start Students