School officials will answer to Feds

Minnesota is one of 11 states appealing to the federal government for a No Child Left Behind waiver request that could alter the criteria used for measuring a school's success. National officials say more information is necessary to determine how schools should be measured.
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Minnesota is one of 11 states appealing to the federal government for a No Child Left Behind waiver request that could alter the criteria used for measuring a school's success. National officials say more information is necessary to determine how schools should be measured.

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Will Minnesota's new school assessments be an improvement over No Child Left Behind?

The state has developed new ways to measure school performance if a requested waiver from No Child Left Behind is approved. The Education Commissioner thinks they'll be fairer and more accurate. A state business leader thinks they'll "destroy the accountability system for schools."

St. Cloud schools would have to report bullying to feds under deal to settle Somali harassment case

The St. Cloud School District would have to report to the federal government any future allegations of harassment or discrimination against Somali students under a settlement that would end an investigation in the district. The investigation finds the district did not break any federal rules in how it handled previous incidents.

How does your school rank in new accountability system?

The state officially said goodbye to the federal No Child Left Behind law on Tuesday and will use its own Multiple Measurement Ratings, which officials say is a fairer accountability system.

Nearly half of Minnesota kindergartners not ready for school

A Minnesota School Readiness Study says only about 55 percent of incoming kindergarten students are ready for school. State education officials say a child's readiness entering school is the biggest indicator of future academic success.

Low-performing schools submit blueprints for improvement

Now that Minnesota schools are out from under the federal No Child Left Behind law – and working under a more flexible state accountability system – Minnesota's 127 lowest-performing schools have submitted school-specific plans for boosting achievement, the Star Tribune reports. School leaders have plans for fixes ranging from adding more math to the school day, to helping parents work with their preschoolers.

Districts struggle with state approval for shorter school weeks

Minnesota school officials considering the change to a four-day school week are having trouble getting approval from the state. Sleepy Eye's request was recently denied by the state's education chief, who cited the impact on students who receive free and reduced lunches. Many districts also say the application process for a shorter school week is extraordinarily complex.

Fewer school kids walk to school

Federal officials think the lack of sidewalks and safe crosswalks are discouraging school children from walking to school. The Pioneer Press reports even after hundreds of millions of dollars in federal spending, the percentage of kids walking to school remains in the low double digits. In one Woodbury school, not one of the more than 800 students walks.

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.