What’s happening with Common Core State Standards here in Minnesota
Minnesota began implementing Common Core Standards during the 2012-2013 school year through English/Language Arts. All other subjects, including social studies, science, history and the arts (now referred to as the technical subjects) are embedded within the English/Language Arts standards. This standard and subsequent matching curriculum is being taught due to the federal grant program called, Race to the Top, initiated only months into the Obama administration. Accepting the ELA standards was contingent upon applying for the grant money. Although our state did not receive federal funds in this lottery, we still had to accept the standards. Our Governor, Commissioner of Education and 93% of all public schools approved the move to accept federal funds for Race to the Top despite the fact that the standards had not even been written and thus could not be reviewed. This occurred during the time of the 2009 economic crisis. Although our state did allow for legislative review and expert testimony of the Math Standards, which were flatly refused, we know that most Minnesota school districts are unfortunately teaching Common Core Math. The Social Studies Standards were approved by the Governor and Commissioner of Education, only, without legislative review. Our present governor and department of education has stated their interest in the Next Generation Science Standards. Additionally, President Obama’s National Sexuality Standards, K-12, were written by stakeholders and are aligned to the Common Core Standards.
Race to the Top includes four main required components according to the grant application.
- Implement the common standards, which can be renamed by each state
- Implement high-stakes testing for common core
- Implement data collection systems to ensure the movement of all data from local schools/district to the State Longitudinal Database
- Implement teacher and principal evaluations
Common Core also includes a Preschool for All initiative for 3rd and 4th graders in Minnesota (already running in four areas of the state) with plans to become mandatory preschool beginning at age 3. Kindergarten is to start in the fall 2014 as all-day Kindergarten without the 1/2 day option. Measurement and data collection on children will begin prenatally and extend to the workforce. Colleges are now preparing to accept the large number of students that will be attending college, through College and Career Ready Standards.
Here are a list of Minnesota specific documents and resources for your review.
MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION SOURCE DOCUMENTS
Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge Memorandum of Understanding between MN Dept of Education and MN Dept of Human Services, 691 pgs.
Includes: Assurances of Collaboration; Project Administration; Scope of Work; Responsibilities; Data Collection; KEA linked to Longitudinal Database; Core Competencies
- Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge Application Phase 1, 8.22.2011 276 pgs.
- Minnesota: Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge, Application …
- Race to the Top, Early Learning Challenge Application, 10.2011, 29 pgs.
- Race to the Top-Phase 1 Early Learning Challenge Grantee Abstract
Amount: $44,858,313 per 9 states Grant Period: 4 years, beginning FY 2012
- Race to the Top Grant Application (K-12)- Phase 1
Minnesota did not apply for Race to the Top during Phase 2 or Phase 3
- Minnesota ESEA Flexibility Request/No Child Left Behind Waiver, 1.13.2012, 170 pgs.
Includes: Adopt College and Career Ready Standards; Implement ELA and Math by 2013-2014; Stakeholders; Implementation Plan: Year 1, Year 2, Year 3; Organizations Supporting Professional Development for Teachers; Data Collection
- Minnesota Title 1 Grants of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, 2009
- Early Learning Council, Sept. 19, 2011
- Superintendent Mail, Dec. 16, 2011
- Governor’s Interagency Early Intervention Committee, Jan. 23, 2012
- Arne Duncan Letter to Superintendents, includes information on RTTT, TIF, School Improvement Grants, Investing in Innovation, Promise Neighborhoods
- Innovative School Advisory Council, Jan. 15, 2010
- Governor’s Interagency Coordinating Council, July 19, 2012
- Minnesota Submits Race to the Top Application, Minnesota Dept of Education, Oct. 19, 2011
- Race to the Top Application Submitted to Washington with Overwhelming Support from Minnesota, Jan 20, 2010, Memoranda of Agreement signed by 300 School Districts, 116 Charter Schools, 93% of all schools state-wide
Minnesota would receive more than $330 million in RTTT funds, if chosen
- 250 School Districts have signed onto Race to the Top, Jan. 14, 2009 (includes list, though incomplete – there would be 300 total)
- Robbinsdale School District discusses Race to the Top, Jan. 13, 2009
History of the Minnesota P20 Education Partnerships:
- Aligning Minnesota’s Educational Systems to Prepare All Students for Higher Education and High-Skill Employment