Education Minnesota applauds community engagement in state’s new ESSA plan

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ST. PAUL, Minn. Jan. 10, 2018 – The U.S. Department of Education announced Wednesday that it has approved the state of Minnesota’s plan to implement the Every Student Succeeds Act. Education Minnesota President Denise Specht released the following statement in response:

“This plan is the product of thousands of hours of discussions and debates among hundreds of people committed to making Minnesota’s schools effective and welcoming for every student,” Specht said.

“Commissioner Cassellius and her staff at the Minnesota Department of Education should be commended for creating the space for these conversations, which were often difficult. We should also thank all the classroom educators, parents and community members who took the time to attend meetings during the past two years and share the perspectives that are sometimes missed when the state makes education policy.”

“The best decisions for students are usually made by the people who know their names. They are the parents and paraprofessionals, teachers and community leaders, and principals and superintendents who see children every day,” Specht said. “The new ‘community needs assessment’ process in the ESSA plan creates a forum and reporting system for those people to say what their schools need. This is an exciting break from years of top-down interventions that often didn’t work or made things worse.”

About Education Minnesota
Education Minnesota is the voice for professional educators and students. Education Minnesota’s members include teachers and education support professionals in Minnesota’s public school districts, faculty members at Minnesota’s community and technical colleges and University of Minnesota campuses in Duluth and Crookston, retired educators and student teachers. Education Minnesota is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, National Education Association and AFL-CIO.