New ‘State of our Students’ report puts student data in context

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ST. PAUL, Minnesota Aug. 29, 2019 – The Minnesota Department of Education put the annual release of school accountability data into context Thursday with the publication of a broad-gauged report of education and demographic data on Minnesota’s nearly 890,000 students. The report is called the “State of Our Students.”

“One thing our state can do to meet the challenges facing Minnesota’s most diverse generation of students is understand that there’s not just one thing to do and there never will be,” said Denise Specht, president of Education Minnesota. “The comprehensive ‘State of Our Students’ report shows the need for an array of additional supports for students when they are in school and at home.”

“Putting test scores into the context of how different groups of students live their lives won’t raise academic achievement by itself, but Commissioner Mary Cathryn Ricker’s decision may nudge our elected officials toward policies that will drive meaningful change,” Specht said. “This new approach could be an important step toward finally closing the racial and socioeconomic opportunity gaps.”

Specht noted the correlation between chronic absenteeism and performance on standardized tests as one example of a problem that requires in-school and community-based solutions. “Closing the opportunity gaps will require an agenda of big new investments in schools, working families and communities,” Specht said. “This report includes much of the data our state needs to go forward.”

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.