Counting All Students Update: March 6, 2020

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Counting All Students | March 6, 2020

Counting All Students Quarterly Update

Public Engagement and Impact

Minnesota Department of Education released a 2019 report.

The report is designed to update lawmakers and the public regarding the department’s progress towards successfully implementing data disaggregation per Minnesota Statutes, section 120B.35 and 120B.31, Counting All Students (CAS). All data reported can be found on MDE’s Data Reports and Analytics page under “Counting All Students.”

MDE’s Statewide Testing Division will host a public forum.

The public forum will be held March 18, 2020, 6-7:30 p.m., at the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) in Roseville, MN. Further information regarding location, accessibility, and agenda can be found on the MDE public events calendar. If you have specific accessibility needs or concerns, please contact Miriam Janechek at 651-582-8641, or by email at

The forum agenda is as follows:

  • Discuss the 2019 data disaggregation public report,
  • Offer information regarding Minnesota’s successful implementation of CAS,
    Share MDE’s goals for Ed-Fi, the technology MDE implemented for accurate, consolidated data collection, and
  • Answer any remaining questions attendees have regarding data collection, use, and reporting.

MDE is particularly interested in hearing from any members of the public who have questions or concerns regarding MDE’s use of data disaggregation or are interested in learning more about both the potential and limitations of data collection and use. If you or your organization want to know how state data disaggregation collection impacts you or your community, please consider attending this March 18 event.

MDE Statewide Testing Division has hired a public engagement and outreach specialist.

Miriam Janechek has joined the Statewide Testing Division team as a communications point person. She is a resource for anyone interested in learning more about CAS. She has a background in public engagement and outreach as well as in higher education. Her communication emphasis is on cross-audience understanding and open dialogue. You can reach her at 651-582-8641 or by email,

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Data and Technical

District-level CAS data collection is underway for 23 percent of Minnesota public schools.

One hundred sixteen of the approximately 500 Minnesota school districts have been collecting CAS data. Ethnic and Racial Demographic Forms have been or will soon be distributed to parents in all districts currently in the process of transitioning to new data collection technology. Any district involved in this transition is prepared to answer parent, teacher, or public questions regarding this form. Please contact your district for more informationThe Ethnic and Racial Demographic Designation Form can be found on the MDE website, under the Counting All Students page.

MDE is committed to ensuring accurate, technologically sound data collection across the state.

116 districts across the state are diligently working to ensure that data submitted to MDE results in accurate reporting. MDE is working closely with districts and their software providers to implement sound technology, verify accurate data, and certify districts in the Ed-Fi submission technology.

MDE anticipates that 100 percent of Minnesota’s school districts will be submitting disaggregated data to MDE by the 2021-22 school year. This means that in the 2021-22 school year, all families will receive the Ethnic and Racial Demographic Form. This form, as well as a Parent Letter and an FAQ, can be found on the Counting All Students webpage.

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What is Counting All Students?

About the law:

Counting All Students refers to Minnesota Statutes, section 120B.35 and 120B.31. These laws require the Minnesota Department of Education to collect detailed ancestry or ethnic origin information about students in order to better understand and identify educational needs of all students in Minnesota.

About the demographics:

MDE is tasked with collecting student data, however the ancestry and ethnic origin categories are determined by the Minnesota State Demographic Center. These most populous, more detailed groups were identified by the Minnesota State Demographer based on the U.S. Census Bureau’s classification/coding system.

Further information:

Read the Counting All Students FAQs.

Find out more about the implementation of the Ed-Fi technology that makes CAS possible.

For answers to other questions and general information, explore the Counting All Students webpage.

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Counting All Students

Though our implementation of Counting All Students is still underway, MDE anticipates that the information collected with all educators at the state- and local-levels will provide insight into our collective successes and failures of facilitating equity in our Minnesota classrooms. Each of us has a personal identity that shapes our experiences of the world, and MDE respects and celebrates every form of diversity within our Minnesota student bodies. And though Counting All Students cannot possibly account for all aspects of that rich diversity, the goals of the statute are to facilitate state- and local-level evaluations of equity in education. Once all schools are collecting and submitting more detailed demographic information, MDE will be able to provide reports for districts across the state to further affirm their commitments to inclusion, equity, and diversity in its many forms.

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