Success Stories

The Minnesota Department of Education will feature stories of student and school achievement and shine a light on outstanding Minnesota teachers, innovative teaching strategies and new programs designed to improve learning and close achievement gaps. Subscribe to this page to receive e-mail updates when we post new success stories!

Minnesota Receives Race to the Top Grant
Grant furthers Dayton Administration’s commitment toward providing quality early learning opportunities for all youth. "Nothing is more important to our state’s long-term economic success than making sure all of our kids come to school ready to learn. This grant allows us to strengthen our early childhood education and ensure our youth have all the tools they need to succeed,” said Commissioner Cassellius. Read Race to the Top release.

Minnesota Department of Education Launches New Website
The new site is designed to provide educators, parents and the public with an intuitive, easy-to-navigate tool to learn about Minnesota public schools. Visitors to the website will find several new features, including a “Just for Parents” section full of easy to understand information, resources and tools. A new feature is the live Data Center, which provides a centralized location for files, reports, and interactive maps, and gives users the capability of generating “real-time” reports. Read launch release.

Study Supports Focus on High-Quality Early Childhood Education
"We know that one of the biggest predictors of academic success in children – especially economically disadvantaged young children and children of color – is their level of readiness when they enter kindergarten,” said Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius. “That’s why Governor Dayton has put such a strong emphasis on investing in our youngest learners in his 7-Point Plan, and why it is imperative to continue to focus on our goals to make high-quality early education experiences available to every Minnesota child.” Read release on study.

Minnesota Submits No Child Left Behind Waiver Application
Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius and Minnesota Department of Education officials submitted an application for a waiver from the federal No Child Left Behind law today. Calling Minnesota’s application for a new accountability plan “a model that makes sense,” Cassellius said the waiver application reflects the strong appetite for meaningful accountability by educators, parents and the public. Read more about the NCLB waiver.

Members Appointed to Integration Revenue Task Force
A 12-member panel charged with evaluating the use of state integration aid for K-12 schools was announced by Minnesota Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius today. A product of the final education bill passed during the 2011 special session, the task force is charged with developing recommendations to the Legislature regarding the current integration revenue program. The 12-member panel was named through the open appointments process outlined in state statute. Commissioner Cassellius named six of the members and the House and Senate each named three. Read release on task force members.

Minnesota’s New Teacher Evaluation Law Receives Praise from National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ)
Minnesota’s new, bi-partisan teacher evaluation law has been singled out for praise by the National Council on Teacher Quality. The new law, enacted during the 2011 special session, meets most of the goals outlined by the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit group, which advocates for reforms to teacher training, evaluation and compensation. Read more on the NCTQ website.

Principal Evaluation Working Group Appointees Named
Minnesota Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius has named members to serve on the legislatively mandated Principal Evaluation working group. Members of the task force are charged with developing policy recommendation to implement a performance-based model for principal evaluation.“It’s important to make sure we not only recognize effective principals, but that we also have tools in place to help them continue to grow professionally,"said Commissioner Cassellius. Read release on working group appointees.

Minnesota Submits Race to the Top Application
State aims to leverage $45 million federal grant to support early learning reforms. Aiming to accelerate Minnesota’s efforts to provide high quality early learning opportunities to more children, Governor Dayton and the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) submitted its Race to the Top – Early Learning Challenge application this week.  Seeking to leverage up to $45 million in federal funds to support the state’s early learning initiatives, Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius said the strong application details the state’s commitment to educating Minnesota’s youngest learners. Read more about Race to the Top Application.