MDE Weekly Superintendent Mail

March 20, 2014

Achievement Gap Summit – March 21

As a reminder, a separate e-mail was sent to superintendents yesterday regarding instructions for viewing the Achievement Gap Summit via webcast on Friday, March 21, 2014, 9 a.m.12 p.m.

Reading Corps Investment Pays Off

The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) issued a new report yesterday highlighting the success of the Minnesota Reading Corps Program. The study shows that the state’s investment in the Minnesota Reading Corps is paying off, with better reading performance and proficiency among Minnesota students in K-3. Read the March 19 report on the CNCS website.

Highlights of the Study

The study, conducted by the Corporation for National and Community Service, analyzed the impact of the Minnesota Reading Corps on improving student achievement in reading. It looked at a sample of 1,350 Minnesota students from Kindergarten through 3rd Grade, and followed their performance over a 16-week period in the 2012-2013 school year. CNCS’s report showed the following:

· The average Minnesota Kindergarten student with a Minnesota Reading Corps volunteer tutor performed twice as well as students without one.
· Minnesota Reading Corps tutors helped the average first grade student perform 26 percent better than the expected level for on-track students.
· Students with higher risk factors who received Minnesota Reading Corps tutoring significantly outperformed students who did not.

In 2011, the state invested $5.45 million in the Minnesota Reading Corps to expand the program and help 50,000 students gain access to one-on-one tutoring. This investment was part of Minnesota’s commitment to help all children read proficiently by third grade.

Links to Materials from the Study

Read the March 19 press release. (

Visit the Minnesota Reading Corps Impact Evaluation landing page. (

Read the Minnesota Reading Corps Research Brief. (


Competitive Grant Opportunity: Federal Year 2013 Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) Expanded Learning Mini-Grant Initiative

The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) makes this federal funding available for all eligible legally established (in Minnesota) public and school libraries, library cooperatives and consortiums, and tax-exempt non-profit organizations willing to serve as fiscal agent for a library.

Expanded Learning Mini-Grants. Federal funding estimated at $60,000 is available from CFDA 45.310, Award LS-000-12-0024-13, to support activity-based partnerships between schools and libraries that take place between mid-May 2014 and September 30, 2014. State Library Services anticipates funding approximately 15 grants in amounts of $1000-$5,000. State Library Services (MDE) reserves the right to offer grant awards in amounts that differ than the grant request. 

The overarching goal is to help both organizations increase their capacity to connect students with meaningful out-of-school and summertime opportunities that improve literacy, academic achievement, college readiness and more. Activities may consist of teen-led tech petting zoos, kid-created film festivals, summer school tutoring, etc.

Applications must be received by (not postmarked by) April 15, 2014, 3:30 p.m., Central Time. Access the grant opportunity documents on the Grant Opportunity Web page. (

Questions are due through e-mail to Jackie Blagsvedt by March 27, 2014, 3:30 p.m., Central Time. A question and answer document will be published on the grant opportunity site after March 31, 2014, 3:30 p.m., Central Time. A webinar is scheduled for March 25, 2014, 3:30-4:30 p.m., Central Time.  Please refer to the grant instructions section for additional information.

For assistance with questions, please contact Jackie Blagsvedt (

Minnesota Board of Teaching Licensure Action

The Minnesota Board of Teaching has taken the following licensure action:

Crutch, Flurohn R. (FF# 476630) Pursuant to the Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Order adopted by the Board of Teaching on March 14, 2014, Mr. Crutch’s application for a teaching license is denied until August 13, 2014, and until he can meet other requirements by the Board.