As you may know, the MN Department of Education (MDE) has a new mechanism to measure schools across the state. The new rating system is said to be fairer, and a more accurate accountability system for schools. Why the change? This new system was put into place because Minnesota was granted a waiver from the No Child Left Behind Act. The long and short of the new system is to improve disparities in academic performance and positively impact a school’s performance in four categories: 1) Proficiency, 2) Growth, 3) Progress in closing the achievement gap, and 4) Graduation rates.
The three Multiple Measurement Rating (MMR) school designations include:
- Reward Schools: The highest performing 15% of Title I schools in the state. Reward schools will be identified every year.
- Focus Schools: The 10% of Title I schools making the biggest contribution to the state’s achievement gap. New listing of schools once every three years.
- Priority Schools: The five percent most-persistently, low-performing Title I schools in the state. New listing once every three years.
MDE and the newly created Regional Centers of Excellence will recognize Reward Schools, and work closely with Priority and Focus schools by helping them create a school turnaround plan based on federal turnaround principles. They will also share best practices from reward schools. According to Commissioner Brenda Cassellius, The October 1 “…press release is about the hard work taking place every single day in our schools to ensure the success of each child. “…It is because of the inspiring commitment, dedication and collaboration of teachers, support staff and school leaders that we are seeing improvements in our Priority and Focus schools.”
Read the full press release which includes a list of schools who have progressed out of their previous category (scroll down in the press release).