MDE Weekly Superintendent Mail

August 22, 2013

Good News for Minnesota

Seventy-four percent of Minnesota students took the ACT test, earning a composite score of 23! The ACT measures proficiency in English, math, reading and science to determine college readiness. Minnesota is ranked first in states where most students take the test. “In addition to great students and teachers, we have been working hard to align our academic standards to college and career, explained Commissioner Cassellius. “While we continue to have achievement gaps, it’s important to note that scores for our students of color are also higher than their peers across the nation."

ACTION ITEM

Updates Regarding Forthcoming Release of Statewide Assessment and Accountability Results

Please read the August 21 letter from Commissioner Cassellius to superintendents. Superintendents received this letter in a separate mailing. A final report regarding the effects of last April’s computer disruptions on students and school scores is available, as well as a separate parent letter that you may wish to use to provide this information to parents.

ITEMS OF INTEREST

Education Booth at the Minnesota State Fair

Stop by and visit us if you’re at the fair! Children can listen to a story or take time to color a picture of Read-It the Frog, MDE’s official reading and literacy mascot. Guest readers scheduled to appear are Commissioner Brenda Cassellius, Princess Kay of the Milky Way, Engineer Paul from the “Choo Choo Bob” TV Show, Alix Kendall from FOX 9 News, Minnesota children’s author Nancy Carlson, and more. Information will be provided about Reading Well by 3rd Grade; Your Choice, Your Future; and College Knowledge Month.

2013 Back-to-School Conference Handouts Available on MASA Website

Visit the MASA website for PowerPoint presentations and materials handed out at the conference.

Race to the Top Competitive Grant Opportunity: Local Early Childhood Software System Upgrade

Please see the memorandum regarding this federal funding opportunity. The amount of $1,500,000 is available from CFDA 84.412A, Race to the Top – Early Learning Challenge, for the purpose of improving local efficiencies as they transition to reporting to MDE private protected early childhood level data for understanding children’s experiences prior to kindergarten. It is anticipated that approximately 40 grants will be funded with the maximum award not exceeding $250,000.

Visit the Grant Opportunity Web page and scroll down to this grant opportunity for the application and instructions. Applications must be physically received (not postmarked) by October 4, 2013, 3:30 p.m. Contact Avisia Whiteman (651-582-8329) for additional information or assistance with questions. Questions are due to her through e-mail by September 9, 2013, 3:30 p.m.

Grant Opportunity: Competitive – State – Early Learning Scholarships – Round 2 for Regions 6W and 6E

See the memorandum regarding this state funding opportunity. This funding is available for the coordination and administration of the State Early Learning scholarships in communities within Regions 6W and 6E of the Governor’s 13 Economic Development Regions throughout the state of Minnesota.

Visit the Grant Opportunity Web page after August 21, 2013 and scroll down to this grant opportunity for the application and instructions. Applications must be received physically (not postmarked) by September 10, 2013, 3:30 p.m. Contact Elizabeth Stephens (651-582-8537) for assistance with questions. Questions are due to her by August 27, 2013, 3:30 p.m.