Minnesota identifies 47 lowest-performing schools in need of urgent help

A new system for measuring school success has been introduced.
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A new system of assessing the performance of Minnesota's schools has identified 485 across the state that are in need of extra support – of which 47 need it urgently.

The State of Minnesota is replacing its "decades-old" system of judging school performance based solely on test scores with the North Star accountability system, which is designed to create "more equitable and well-rounded" opportunities for studnets.

The North Star system looks at 5 factors when determining overall performance: Achievement and progress on reading and maths tests over time, English language proficiency, graduation rates, and consistent attendance.

Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius said basing achievement solely around test scores was a "misguided approach" that has led to skewed perceptions of how schools are doing. and limited opportunities for students to "experience a rich and well-rounded education."

“North Star places equity at the heart of our work to help all schools serve students well,” she adds. "It points us toward the schools that will benefit from intensive support and schools that are positioned to offer lessons about how to help others improve."

How schools are performing

On Wednesday, the state recognized 526 of the state's elementary and high schools for excellence under the new system, which is about a fifth of the total schools in Minnesota. The list of these schools is here.

At the same time, the state has identified 485 in need of more support to improve performance.

Of those, 147 schools had graduation rates below 67 percent, while specific student groups (ie. Hispanic, black, low-income, English learners) were found to be struggling in 157 schools.

You can find you child's school's report card by searching here.

The state also picked out 47 schools that are in the direst need of "comprehensive support."

Of those, more than half of them – 24 – are in the Twin Cities, including 10 in the St. Paul Public Schools District and 8 in Minneapolis.

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List of lowest-performing schools

Here's the full list, with the school district in parentheses (PS stands for "Public Schools").

  • Browns Valley Elementary (Browns Valley PS).
  • Cass Lake-Bena Middle School (Cass Lake Bena PS)
  • North Park Elementary (Columbia Heights PS).
  • Valley View Elementary (Columbia Heights PS)
  • Nelle Shean Elementary (Eveleth-Gilbert School District)
  • Forest View Elementary (Forest Lake PS)
  • McGregor Elementary (McGregor PS)
  • Crest View Elementary (Osseo PS)
  • Red Lake Middle School (Red Lake PS)
  • Ponemah Elementary (Red Lake PS)
  • Red Lake Secondary (Red Lake PS)
  • Renville County West Elementary (Renville County West School Dist.)
  • Central Park Elementary (Roseville PS)
  • Lincoln Elementary (St. Cloud PS)
  • Madison Elementary (St. Cloud PS)
  • Talahi Community Elementary (St. Cloud PS)
  • Benjamin E Mays Magnet (St. Paul PS)
  • Cherokee Heights Elementary (St. Paul PS)
  • Daytons Bluff Elementary (St. Paul PS)
  • Eastern Heights Elementary (St. Paul PS)
  • Frost Lake Elementary (St. Paul PS)
  • Highwood Hills Elementary (St. Paul PS)
  • Obama Service Learning Elementary (St. Paul PS)
  • Leap High School (St. Paul PS)
  • John A. Johnson Achievement Plus EL (St. Paul PS).
  • Maxfield Elementary (St. Paul PS)
  • Waubun Elementary (Waubun-Ogema-White Earth PS)
  • Jenny Lind Elementary (Minneapolis PS)
  • Sheridan Elementary (Minneapolis PS)
  • Bryn Mawr Elementary (Minneapolis PS)
  • Hall International (Minneapolis PS)
  • Anishinabe Academy (Minneapolis PS)
  • Bethune Elementary (Minneapolis PS)
  • Wellstone International High (Minneapolis PS)
  • Cityview Community (Minneapolis PS)

Charter Schools

  • Bdote Learning Center, Minneapolis.
  • Career Pathways Secondary, St. Paul.
  • El Colegio Charter School, Minneapolis.
  • Loveworks Academy for Arts, Golden Valley.
  • Mastery School, Minneapolis.
  • Minnesota Excellence in Learning Academy, Maple Grove.
  • Minnesota Internship Center, Rondo Campus, St. Paul.
  • Naytahwaush Community School, Naytahwaush.
  • North Metro Flex Academy, North St. Paul.
  • Venture Academy, Minneapolis.
  • Voyageurs Expeditionary Middle School,  Bemidji.

Next Up


Minnesota schools look better under new state accountability system

The full impact of Minnesota's new accountability system came into view this week with the announcement of the final group of schools facing new labels and corrective actions. The state now uses its own system after it won a waiver from the requirements of the federal No Child Left Behind law. Using the new definitions makes the overall picture seem rosier: 213 schools are now labeled underperforming in some way, compared to more than 1,000 under No Child Left Behind.