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Making Progress to Close the Achievement Gap - Part 4

April 17, 2014

Every day this week, blogg[ED] is featuring real stories from educators who are making progress to close achievement gaps and raise achievement for every student. Today's post is adapted from a presentation given by Dan McKeon, the director of TrekNorth Junior and Senior High School in Bemidji. Read more about TrekNorth's efforts to address gaps by cultivating relationships and building trust.

Making Progress on the Achievement Gap - Part 3

April 16, 2014

This week blogg[ED] is featuring educators from across the state discussing their efforts to close achievement gaps. Today’s post comes from Bloomington Public School Exectuive Director of the Research and Development Department Dave Heistad, Ph.D. Read about how Bloomington is focusing on data to increase student achievement

Making Progress on the Achievement Gap - Part 2

April 15, 2014
Achievement Gap Blog Photo Post 2

This week blogg[ED] is featuring educators from across the state discussing their efforts to close achievement gaps. Today’s post comes from Moorhead Superintendent Lynne Kovash. Read about her insights on how Moorhead is working to help every child thrive.

Making Progress on the Achievement Gap – A Series

April 14, 2014
Brooklyn Center Pre-K Students

On Friday, March 21, the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) engaged over 200 educators around the state in a conversation about the achievement gap in Minnesota. The summit offered clarification, explanation and ways to interpret and use the achievement gap data provided to each district. Participants received information about the wide range of technical assistance available in the areas of: English learners, special education, academic standards and data analysis from Minnesota Department of Education staff--including how to access the support available from the Regional Centers of Excellence.

Beginning today, April 14, BloggED will offer a series of guest posts from four school districts around the state who are making significant progress on closing the achievement gap between student groups. Meet Brooklyn Center Superintendent Mark Bonine. Read full story.

Building a Better Minnesota for our Students

April 10, 2014
Dayton Bully Bill Signing

Yesterday, Minnesota’s State Capitol was buzzing with the sounds of students, parents, educators and advocates—Minnesotans from across the state who came together to watch Governor Mark Dayton sign the Safe and Supportive Schools Act into law.

The governor was joined by the sponsors of the bill in the Minnesota Senate and House, Senator Scott Dibble and Representative Jim Davnie, superintendent of the Farmington School District Jay Haugan, and the members of the Governor’s Task Force on the Prevention of School Bullying. Read more about what the Safe and Supportive Schools Act mean for Minnesota.

Kids Design Glass

April 8, 2014
Two blown-glass sculptures. Left to right: Olivia the Outstanding Owl and Colorful Hearts

Meet the young artists whose drawings inspired 14 fantastical glass sculptures produced with funds from a Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage grant by East Central Regional Library (ECRL). The project began during the 2013 summer reading program, when children ages 4-10 were invited to submit original drawings of an animal or object that could be turned into a glass blown art object. Read more and view the gallery of glass sculptures.

April is the Month of the Military Child!

April 7, 2014
Military Child Photo

Governor Mark Dayton has proclaimed April the "Month of the Military Child." During this month, military-connected youth throughout the state will be recognized for the sacrifices they make while a parent serves in the Armed Forces. Read more about how you can be involved.

From the Office of Early Learning: “Parent Involvement” vs “Parent Engagement”

April 1, 2014

Early childhood programs and schools talk a lot about parent involvement but what that means is often not clear.  Head Start, the country’s laboratory for early childhood education, has long known that parent involvement is critical to its success and the success of the children they serve.  They have recently developed a framework for local programs that helps them develop environments and services that actively engage parents.  The Parent, Family and Community Engagement Framework has become a valuable guide for programs in their work with parents. Read more about the framework.

From the Office of Early Learning: Minnesota Racing to the Top in Early Childhood Education

March 31, 2014

Minnesota was one of the first nine states awarded the Race to the Top – Early Learning Challenge funds in 2011 and the Minnesota early childhood education team has been racing ever since.  The grant laid out ambitious goals for the state and especially for four communities called “Transformation Zones” across the state.

Each community is charged with increasing the school readiness of children with high needs by improving access to high quality early learning and development programs. An assessment was just done to look at how these communities are meeting the needs of their families with young children. Reading more about the findings here

Sharon Burrell: Creating a World’s Best Workforce Plan

March 25, 2014
World's Best Workforce Blog Photo

During the 2013 Legislative session, the Legislature and Governor Mark Dayton took steps to ensure every student in Minnesota is prepared for college and career. The Worlds Best Workforce bill asks districts throughout the state to create a plan that alligns curriculum and works to increase student achievement.

Meet Sharon Burrell, Curriculum, Staff Development and Q Comp Coordinator for North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale Schools, and longtime elementary classroom teacher. As a member of the district's teaching and leadership plan. Sharon is part of her district's efforts to create a World's Best Workforce plan. Blogg[ED] sat down with her to talk about what that work looks like. Read more about creating a World's Best Workforce plan.

Guest Post: The Burgeoning State of Higher Education in Minnesota

March 21, 2014
OHE Logo_Blogged

Minnesota is not only the land of 10,000 lakes, it is also home to nearly 200 colleges and universities and over 450,000 postsecondary students. When considering numbers this large, trends can be difficult to spot – especially when you consider the massive amounts of higher education data that is collected statewide and nationally.

A recent report prepared by the Minnesota Office of Higher Education provides meaning to this data. And, in doing so, indicates some positive trends with regard to college enrollment. Read more about the current state of higher education in Minnesota.

The Benefits of Investing Early

March 19, 2014
Governor and Commissioner reading

Since taking office, Governor Mark Dayton has made a number of critical investments in early education. One significant investment came in 2011 when Governor Dayton and the Legislature invested $5.45 million in the Minnesota Reading Corps to expand the program and help more students gain access to one-on-one tutoring. Today, a new report shows the positive impact already taking place because of that investment. Read More.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day and March is Women's History Month!

March 17, 2014
Shamrock alongside example of a Minnesota 4-H Logo

Long before the shamrock became associated with St. Patrick’s Day (March 17), the four-leaf clover was regarded by ancient Celts as a charm against evil spirits. In the early 1900s, O. H. Benson, an Iowa school superintendent, came up with the idea of using a clover as the emblem for a newly founded agricultural club for children. In 1911, the four-leaf clover was chosen as the emblem for the national club program, now known as 4-H!*

The theme for Women's History Month 2014 is: Celebrating Women of Character, Courage, and Commitment. Read more.

Increasing Access to the Most Important Meal of the Day

March 7, 2014
Adams Elementary Student Joins Commissioner Cassellius for the 2014-15 Breakfast Challenge

Breakfast has long been known as “the most important meal of the day.” This is not without reason. A healthy breakfast not only provides a kick of energy to start the day, it has been found to help with weight control, lower cholesterol, provide more strength and endurance to engage in physical activity and also improve concentration and performance whether you’re on the job or in the classroom.

Today, Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius joined Hunger-Free Minnesota and the Children’s Defense Fund at Adams Elementary in Coon Rapids to launch the 2014-2015 School Breakfast Challenge. Read More.

Offering a Great Start, One Child at a Time

March 5, 2014
Commissioner visits Community KIDS preschool

There has been a lot of talk about the importance of investing in early education opportunities. Last session Governor Mark Dayton and the Legislature passed bills that allow every district in the state to implement all-day Kindergarten and allocated $40 million for early education scholarships, ensuring every child has access to a great start to their education.

During those conversations, focus was often placed on experts who could present data and research about the return on investment and other long term benefits. Last week, Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius was able to visit a preschool program in Winona and see firsthand the impact the Governor and Legislature’s investments are having on children and families throughout Minnesota. Read More.

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March 1, 2014

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