New State System Determines 526 Schools are 'Top Performers,' 485 to Receive Additional Support

August 30, 2018 05:25 PM

The Minnesota Department of Education has launched a new system that measures achievement and progress in state schools.

According to the department, the new system - called the North Star accountability system - is meant to help provide more accurate information on students across the state.


The department has identified five areas in which important data can be gathered: academic achievement, progress toward English language proficiency, academic progress, graduation rates, and consistent attendance.

From that data, the department claims state education leaders will better be able to identify and learn from schools that perform at high levels.

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"For over 20 years, we have relied far too much on test scores as the sole measure of school performance," Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius said in a statement. "This misguided approach has resulted in a status quo that has not only skewed the perception of how our schools are doing, but has narrowed and limited opportunities for students to experience a rich and well-rounded education."

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Furthermore, the Department of Education has identified 485 schools state-wide that will be receiving "varying levels of support" over the course of the next three years. That support can include specialized attention on "English learners, equity, graduation, implementation, math, reading and special education," according to the department.

The department has also recognized 526 public schools across the state as being "top performers" in the five areas identified.

Department officials said "thousands of Minnesotans and dozens of community organizations" have been developing North Star for the past two years.

Track various schools' performance via the Minnesota Report Card here.


Rebecca Omastiak

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