AccountabilityAchievement & AssessmentStudent Opportunity Gaps

Accountability and World’s Best Work Force

By September 9, 2013 No Comments

A combination of a need to create a highly educated workforce to maintain Minnesota’s edge in economics and the political necessity to not be seen as weak on accountability with the elimination of the GRAD rule, House K-12 Education Finance Chairman Marquart authored pursued with the determination to get the World’s Best Work Force (WBW) enacted into law.

Where do we stand?

The section defines the “world’s best workforce” as striving to meet school readiness goals, achieve third grade literacy for all students, close the academic achievement gap among 13 racial, ethnic, and economic categories of students, attain career and college readiness, and have all students graduate from high school by 2027.

The law lists measures used determine district and school progress in striving to create the world’s best workforce, including the NAEP, students’ academic achievement gap, the MCAs, high school graduation rates, and career and college readiness.

How does it affect you?

This law directs a school board to publicly adopt a comprehensive long-term plan that is aligned with the world’s best workforce.

  • Includes a system to periodically review and evaluate the effectiveness of instruction and curriculum; education effectiveness practices that integrate instruction, curriculum, technology; teacher quality, performance, and effectiveness;
  • An annual budget for continuing to implement the district plan.
  • Directs the commissioner to identify and help implement effective strategies, practices, and use of resources by districts and school sites striving for the world’s best workforce.
  • Identifies districts in any consecutive three-year period not making sufficient progress toward improving teaching and learning and striving for the world’s best workforce.
  • Allows the commissioner, in consultation with the affected district, to require the district to set aside up to 2 percent of its basic general education revenue per fiscal year during the following three year period.

Commissioner Cassellius has shared she may hold back 20 percent of integration revenue and 20 percent of Focus and Priority Title I schools which are not achieving satisfactory progress.

Where do we go from here?

With this new direction in accountability, what should MREA focus for the benefit of Greater Minnesota’s young children?

  • How can the new WBW process be streamlined with existing district accountability and reporting measures?
  • Who will set standards for WBW?  What additional work is required of boards
  • How to protect against future MDE Commissioner “gotcha” efforts?