March 16-22 is Sunshine Week, a week devoted to freedom of information and open government. As part of Sunshine Week, the TC Daily Planet will feature articles introducing ways that every citizen can access government information.
The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) Web site contains a wealth of information about education in Minnesota and nationwide, as well as information about every school district and every public school in the state. Here’s an introduction to www.education.state.mn.us.
Academic Excellence on the right hand side of the page has information about academic standards, gifted and talented programs, and school choice. This section also links to the much-publicized School Report Cards, which are issued every fall. Results of tests that are mandated by the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) federal legislation are listed there. This is where you can see if a school made Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) by NCLB standards. The report cards also include the demographics, English proficiency, and poverty level for every school in Minnesota. In addition student mobility and graduation rates for each and every public school are detailed.
Do you want to have a better understanding of that No Child Left Behind mandate? Click on Accountability Programs which will lead you to the required school and district reports, and assessments and testing. What are the tests that all students are required to take? What is the MCA-II? You will find the answers to those questions here.
The Teacher Support section shows the latest on licensing information and related issues. You can look up an individual teacher’s license, find information on the Troops to Teachers program, and much more.
Information available under the Leaning Support header includes Adult Basic Education, how to obtain a GED, food and nutrition services, and the Minnesota Braille and Talking Book Library, and more.
On the left side of the page, options include the News Center which includes press releases from MDE, plus announcements of grant opportunities; Current Topics, such as the latest beef recall that affected school food services; Legislation, including current session summaries; Laws and rules; and Reports to the Legislature.
For anyone looking for information about education in Minnesota, the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) Web site offers a valuable starting point