ESSA Update: new resources, upcoming public meeting and more

ESSA Update

ESSA Update: June 18, 2018

Join us July 11 for an update on implementing ESSA, data reporting, protecting student data and more

Work is underway in preparation for ESSA implementation in the 2018-19 school year. We have some important updates in a few areas that we would like to share with stakeholders. Please join us July 11, 6-8 p.m. at the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) office in Roseville for an update on:

  • State equity work 
  • Minnesota Report Card progress
  • Protecting student privacy while providing useful data
  • Upcoming transition to new accountability and support system

Please register online to let us know you're coming.

New resource: ESSA e-learning modules

MDE’s new School and District Accountability page includes a growing collection of e-modules exploring key aspects of the North Star accountability system that is Minnesota’s new way to identify schools and districts for support under ESSA and the state’s World’s Best Workforce law. Each module is approximately 4-7 minutes long. A module about the philosophy of the system and a module with an overview of the system are already available, and more modules are coming soon to explore the processes for identifying schools and districts as well as each indicator used when making identifications.

Committee work wrap-up

Earlier this year, stakeholder committees met to discuss three important areas of ESSA: data reporting, school recognition and the School Quality/Student Success indicator in our accountability system (also known as the 5th indicator).

Data Reporting

In addition to sharing feedback on the current Minnesota Report Card, members of the data reporting subcommittee reviewed examples of how other states report their data to the public. Many members felt that the current Minnesota Report Card has a lot of good information, but is not family or community friendly, and information can be difficult to find or understand. Stakeholders shared areas where they would like to see more information, especially the type of information that gives a better idea of the context of a school. Additionally, stakeholders discussed many areas where the data are already there, but need to be made more clear and understandable. 

School Recognition

Most members of the recognition subcommittee supported recognizing schools and districts for success in a variety of areas. These would include the accountability indicators used to identify schools for support, but would also extend beyond those indicators to look at data covering a wider range of outcomes and student experiences. MDE staff are currently exploring which options can be recognized before, during, and after the 2018-19 school year.

School Quality/Student Success indicator

After exploring a range of potential options for indicators of school quality or student success, subcommittee members concluded that none would be ready for effective use by 2021. Several members expressed preferences regarding indicators of school readiness, well-rounded education, and career and college readiness that they would like to see strengthened for possible use in 2024.

Technical Update to ESSA State Plan

The U.S. Department of Education (USDE) contacted MDE in April 2018 with a request for a slight change to our methodology for identifying additional targeted support schools. We were told that USDE discovered this while using Minnesota’s state plan as a strong example for other states.

ESSA requires states to identify schools in which any student group, on its own, would lead to identification in the lowest five percent of Title I schools. We have commonly referred to this identification as schools with a student group performing similar to Title I schools in the lowest five percent.

Our previously-approved methodology identified schools with student groups performing below the average performance of the lowest five percent of Title I schools across multiple indicators. USDE asked Minnesota to change this to schools with student groups performing below the highest performance of the lowest five percent of Title I schools across multiple indicators. This modification is likely to result in more schools eligible for targeted support based on performance of individual student groups.

MDE submitted this revision, included on pages 24 and 32 of the accountability section, on May 9, 2018. The change was recently approved by USDE.

department of education