ESSA Update: [CORRECTED LINK] upcoming well-rounded education conversation

ESSA Masthead

February 3, 2017

*The version of this newsletter that was sent on Friday, February 3 included an incorrect link to register to attend the ESSA Public Conversation on Well-Rounded Education. The link has been corrected below.

Save the date! Public Conversation on Well-Rounded Education

Please join us Saturday, February 25 at 10 a.m. at Brooklyn Center High School for a public conversation on well-rounded education with Commissioner Cassellius. Ensuring all students have access to a well-rounded education is a core principle of the Every Student Succeeds Act. While the law gives us a starting point, we look forward to continuing to engage with parents, educators and students as we shape a vision for what a well-rounded education means in Minnesota. In order to understand what Minnesotans want to see in our schools, we need to hear from you. Please register to attend or see the flier for more details. See you there!

ESSA Regulations Update

As MDE staff meet and plan with a wide range of people across the state, we also want to share some recent activity at the federal level to keep community members and interested organizations up-to-speed on recent developments. The past month has brought several changes, including multiple federal actions that have affected ESSA regulations. These include:

  • On January 18, the U.S. Department of Education withdrew its proposed supplement-not-supplant regulations.
  • On January 20, President Trump froze for 60 days several regulations that were set to go into effect, including final regulations pertaining to accountability, school improvement and state plans. These regulations are currently being reviewed and may be retracted or revised.
  • Assessment regulations are unaffected by the freeze, since they took effect before the freeze was issued.
  • On February 1, resolutions were introduced in the House of Representatives that would use the Congressional Review Act to repeal the accountability, school improvement, and state plan regulations and the Higher Education Title II teacher preparation regulations. These resolutions have not yet passed the House, and would also need to pass the Senate and be signed by the President before taking effect.

Minnesota’s state plan development will continue with the ESSA statute (which is unaffected) as its guide.

In the Community: highlights from meetings we've attended

Council for Minnesotans of African Heritage

Board members from the Council for Minnesotans of African Heritage invited MDE to present to them on the Every Student Succeeds Act. Members asked about MDE’s plans for ESSA during a U.S. Department of Education administrative transition.

Members encouraged MDE to maintain efforts in ESSA to close achievement gaps for communities of color over time. Members also suggested MDE make sure the tools used for engagement are accessible and that people are not excluded from participation by lack of Internet access.

Minneapolis Public Schools - English Learners

MDE staff were invited by community organizers to a Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) hosted meeting with parents and families involved with English Learner (EL) programs. Parents were provided live translation of ESSA information from district staff, the Minnesota Education Equity Partnership, and the Coalition of Asian American Leaders.

Participants broke into small groups to discuss their recommendations for MDE. Among the ideas shared was a belief that EL students need to experience the same academically rigorous education as their peers. Parents also stated a desire to ensure children are accurately screened for services, including in the home language questionnaire. Families also asked that students be exposed daily to their native language, both in writing and orally.

Minneapolis Parents

ESSA Survey - thank you!

Our ESSA Survey closed on January 31. We received over 1,300 responses - thank you so much to everyone who participated and shared it! We have begun to analyze responses and are excited to share results with you.