By Sam Walseth, MREA Lobbyist
House E-12 Chairman Marquart wants a new accountability measure for school district academic performance. He isn’t asking for a new test, but in order to close the achievement gap and create “the world’s best workforce,” he is proposing a new section of law that would require school boards to set academic and other student performance goals and measure those goals with longitudinal data.
If those goals aren’t met, he proposes to allow the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) and newly created Regional Centers of Excellence to be able to withhold up to 4 percent of a school district’s money and repurpose it for them. If things continue to not improve, then the MDE Commissioner could force a turnaround model on the school district.
MREA and other organizations are working with Chairman Marquart to amend this proposal so dollars aren’t withheld from schools and to prevent the MDE Commissioner from forcing turnaround models on them. After a lengthy conversation with Marquart on Friday, it’s clear he will get some new policy language for this initiative.
We’re hoping to make it much more workable for school boards, administrators and staff. We asked him to look at MS 120B.11 as a current statute that could be amended to achieve his goal and not having a new process and report go into law. He seemed amenable to that and we continue to work with him on this issue. View the current statute.