The educators of Education Minnesota have adopted a set of principles to guide their advocacy to the Minnesota Department of Education and the Legislature as the state government creates a new system of school accountability and considers a transformational change in how the needs of schools are assessed.

They are:

1.    ESSA should promote education equity, including by race, region, personal characteristics and socioeconomic status.

2.    A new school accountability system is necessary. It should drastically reduce the role of high-stakes testing and give schools more credit for fulfilling the unmet needs of students.

3.    Summative accountability scores are incomplete or misleading. Parents need a variety of metrics to determine if a school or district is a good fit for their children.

4.    A high-quality education can only be delivered by well-qualified and supported educators with sufficient resources and authority to make decisions about their practice.

5.    The educators closest to the classroom tend to make the best decisions about education policy.

These principles have lead Education Minnesota to set three goals for its work in the various committees studying the different aspects of ESSA implementation. These committees are tasked by the Minnesota Department of Education with making recommendations to Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius, who will make the final decisions.

1.    Reduce the role of tests.

2.    Give more voice to educators and school communities.

3.    Redefine a successful school as one that provides a well-rounded education and meets the needs of its students.