Office of the Commissioner

"Leading for educational excellence and equity. Every day for every one."

Dr. Brenda Cassellius was appointed Minnesota’s Education Commissioner in January 2011. A lifelong educator with experiences as a teacher, principal and superintendent, Commissioner Cassellius’ priority is to improve education outcomes for all students. Working closely with Governor Dayton on the 7-point plan, "Better Schools for a Better Minnesota," under her leadership the agency is focused on excellence, equity and opportunity; closing Minnesota’s achievement gap; supporting high-quality teaching; and using innovative strategies to improve results.

Delivering Results: Two Years of Progress Toward a Better Minnesota!
Read the Education Summary on the DEED website.

Key Accomplishments and Initiatives

  • The Department’s application for a No Child Left Behind Waiver was approved by the U.S. Department of Education on February 9, 2012, allowing for a better, fairer, more accurate and supportive accountability system. View the NCLB Waiver page.
  • Led a public/private collaboration to submit a successful Race to the Top –Early Learning Challenge Grant. Received $45 million for early education efforts focused in four communities: Saint Paul Promise Neighborhood, Minneapolis Achievement Zone, Itasca County and White Earth Indian Reservation.
  • Worked with Legislature in passing new alternative licensure, principal evaluation, and teacher evaluation laws.
  • Created the new Office of Early Learning to bring strategic focus to early education in Minnesota. Visit the Early Learning Parents' page.
  • Member of Children’s Cabinet, along with Commissioners of Human Services and Health, to align early childhood initiatives across state agencies.
  • Convened a Bipartisan Education Finance Working Group charged with developing recommendations for school finance reform.
  • Met with leaders from all 11 Tribal Indian Nations to work on strategies for improving communication with parents, providing resources to educators, and closing the achievement gap for these students. Visit our Office of Indian Education page.
  • Received $28.2 million Federal Public Charter Schools grant to design and implement high quality charter schools.
  • Collaborated with the Office of Higher Education to hold first College Application Week resulting in over 15,000 college applications being submitted.
  • Convened and oversaw five working panels charged with developing recommendations on a variety of key education topics. Select the title of a group to read more about their work:
  • Organizational Chart 
    Chart and outline format of the agency's organization. Updated February 2014.