ESSA Update: Follow-up to July 11 ESSA meeting

ESSA Update

ESSA Update: August 1, 2018

Thank you to everyone who was able to attend the ESSA public meeting last month. It was a very engaging meeting full of robust conversations. So robust, in fact, that we did not quite get to cover all of our content. So, below you will find an update from Chief Accountability Officer Stephanie Graff on ESSA accountability and recognition. We've also included information about the Minnesota Report Card, and a follow-up to the discussion about proposed methods for reporting discipline data.

Accountability and Recognition Update

After over two and a half years since the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was signed into law, we are looking forward to publicly releasing the results of the state’s new accountability system in a little over a month. 

Information about the new system, including training modules, can be found on the MDE School and District Accountability page. On August 30, the public will be able to access the accountability results on the Minnesota Report Card as well as in a more detailed spreadsheet titled "North Star Public File" on the Data Reports and Analytics page.

Slides 51-59 of the July 11 meeting presentation provide some brief information, and below is also an overview of what we planned to share on July 11 on this topic before running out of time.

There are a few key points to make as we transition to the North Star system.

  1. The state’s new accountability system maintains a focus on equity and making sure all students are successful, particularly our historically underserved student populations.
  2. The indicators used in the accountability system are a starting point for understanding the context of schools. These indicators, including test scores, graduation rates, and consistent attendance rates, are not the conclusion. It is important to engage in conversation about the unique needs and experiences of students to inform continuous improvement efforts within local communities.
  3. This system was designed, in part, to prioritize schools and districts for support. In the absence of having resources at the state to provide dedicated support to all schools, this system helps the state identify which schools need help the most and builds a system to meaningfully support those schools.
  4. The accountability indicators are reported separately and simply. This allows families, educators and communities to understand the challenges and successes across multiple indicators in a transparent manner.

On August 30, 2018, MDE will report on the performance of schools using the new accountability system. This includes: indicator data for all public schools and districts, the districts and schools that are eligible for support, and the list of schools that are recognized for success.

Through the ESSA state plan development process as well as through a committee process in spring 2018, MDE was able to gather priorities from many stakeholders on our next school recognition system. During the 2018-2019 school year, MDE will  begin recognizing schools based on a variety of measures, including career and college readiness, early learning and school climate data. In the short term for the August 30 public release of accountability, MDE will recognize schools in the following ways:

  • Overall school performance is in the top 5 percent within any one indicator (math achievement, reading achievement, progress toward English language proficiency, math progress, reading progress, four-year graduation rate, or consistent attendance).
  • Student group performance is similar to the top 5 percent of schools within any one indicator.
  • For credit or dropout recovery schools only: The school has a high seven-year graduation rate (still determining appropriate threshold).

Addition to Minnesota Report Card: MySchool

Communications Director Josh Collins shared a mock-up of a new page on the Minnesota Report Card at last month's meeting. This page, called MySchool, will allow districts and schools to provide contextual narrative about what each school is like. The page will also include some school data including academic indicators, graduation rates (if applicable) and school climate information. See the MySchool mock-up.

Feedback on Discipline Data Reporting

At the ESSA update meeting, staff presented a proposal on how MDE will report discipline data. There was considerable discussion surrounding the use of rates per 100 in our reporting of discipline data. Some attendees raised concerns about the clarity of that approach to reporting. We are discussing additional options, and will communicate in a future update what is being considered so that we can address those concerns. 

Questions? Contact

department of education