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Showing posts tagged with Education. Show all posts

New Rankings Help Families Choose Quality Child Care

Posted on April 03, 2014 at 10:53 AM
Categories: Education

Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson finger paints with children at Amanda Rupar’s Family Child Care in Sartell, Minn
Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson finger paints with children at Amanda Rupar’s Family Child Care in Sartell, Minn., to highlight growing participation in the Parent Aware quality rating system and recent investments in early childhood education
For Minnesota’s children, school begins in Kindergarten, but learning starts long before that. According to cognitive scientists, the first five years of brain development can make or break future learning outcomes. Parents play a vital role in stimulating their children’s minds, but when they leave for work, this responsibility also falls on daycare providers.

Last year, Governor Dayton and the legislature worked together to invest in high-quality early learning opportunities. One of these newly implemented initiatives is Parent Aware, a program designed to rate different pre-k educational services. Based on a four star rating system, the program relies on voluntary evaluations of different day-care providers, and, through educational workshops, equips them with information on how to create a safe and stimulating day care environment. When looking for place to send their kids parents can simply go to the Parent Aware Website, and look up ratings.

The minimum standard for a 1 star ratting requires ongoing documentation of a child’s learning progress, while achievement of a four star rating takes much more: including sensitivity to cultural differences among children, evidence that lesson plans are tailored to the learning needs of individual students, and training for pre-k care for students with disabilities.

Minnesota’s Parent Aware rating system will help parents assess their options for childcare, but also encourage providers to become up to date on the latest techniques for encouraging early cognitive development.

The process of accreditation requires that providers frequently participate in workshops to learn about the latest research in early childhood education. This ensures that they remain up to date about the best approaches to early learning, and can continually revise their curriculum.


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Streamlined FAFSA makes it easier for Minnesota students to access financial aid

Posted on April 02, 2014 at 11:59 AM
Categories: Education

FAFSA tools can help Minnesota students get access to financial aid

Getting ready for college or career school can be easier than you think. Visit the FAFSA website for more information.

Governor Dayton knows that providing all of our students access to affordable post-secondary education is vital to preparing all Minnesotans for great jobs for generations to come. Last year, Governor Dayton worked with the Legislature to increase financial aid for our students and freeze tuition at public colleges and universities. Now, the Minnesota Office of Higher Education encourages students to take advantage of the recently improved Free Application for Federal Student form (FAFSA) to access additional student aid.

The U.S. Department of Education improved the FAFSA by adding two new features to make the application simpler to complete and to encourage more Americans to get the education they need for bright futures. The new FAFSA Completion Tool and Financial Aid Toolkit make the application process straightforward, and help high school principals and counselors identify students who should complete the form. Here in Minnesota, the Office of Higher Education has ratcheted up its outreach efforts to help students and families complete the form.

FAFSA Reform – By the Numbers

23 minutes    Time it takes to complete the FAFSA online

58%        High school seniors completed the FAFSA in 2012-2013

70%    High school seniors who completed the FAFSA that enrolled in college or university

Increasing educational opportunity for all Minnesotans is critical creating good jobs and bright futures. The Governor is dedicated to ensuring that Minnesotans have access to post-secondary education – making it easier to get financial aid will help achieve this important goal.


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Blogg[ed]MN: The Benefits of Investing Early

Posted on April 01, 2014 at 1:18 PM
Categories: Education

Governor Dayton and Governor Dayton read to a group of early learners

This blog post originally appeared on the Minnesota Department of Education website blogg[ed]MN. 

Since taking office, Governor Mark Dayton has made a number of critical investments in early education. One significant investment came in 2011 when Governor Dayton and the Legislature invested $5.45 million in the Minnesota Reading Corps to expand the program and help more students gain access to one-on-one tutoring.

In fact, 30,000 students benefited from the Minnesota Reading Corps AmeriCorps individualized, one-on-one tutoring to kindergarten through third grade students and using proven literacy interventions last year.

And the best part is: It’s working.

Today, a new report shows that this work is resulting in big improvements for the state’s youngest learners.

The study, conducted by the Corporation for National and Community Service, analyzed the impact of the Minnesota Reading Corps on improving student achievement in reading. It looked at a sample of 1,350 Minnesota students from Kindergarten through 3rd Grade, and followed their performance over a 16-week period in the 2012-2013 school year.

Check out some of these amazing highlights from the report:

  • The average Minnesota Kindergarten student with a Minnesota Reading Corps volunteer tutor performed twice as well as students without one
  • Minnesota Reading Corps tutors helped the average first grade student perform 26 percent better than the expected level for on-track students
  • Students with higher risk factors who received Minnesota Reading Corps tutoring significantly outperformed students who did not

Interested in reading more about the study? Here are some links to materials from today’s report:


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Minnesota High School Graduates Making Big Gains in Postsecondary Education

Posted on March 27, 2014 at 11:35 AM
Categories: Education

Click here to explore the 2014 interactive Minnesota Measures infographic: A Report on Higher Education Performance.

Click here to see interactive infographic  

New research shows the percentage of young Minnesotans enrolling in higher education has increased dramatically. Between 2003 and 2011, the rate increased from 68 percent to 78 percent – a 10 percent jump. This is great news for Minnesota’s fast growing economy, which depends on a highly educated workforce.

To make further progress, last year Governor Dayton and the Legislature made the largest investment in student aid in a generation. This investment was important and urgent because Minnesota students borrow more money for education than the national average. This was a huge step in making more financial aid available for the students of Minnesota.

The Minnesota Measures: 2014 Report on Higher Education Performance also shows that 71 percent of first-time, full-time undergraduates depend on grants and scholarships to pay for their education. Commissioner Larry Pogemiller said the increasing enrollment of recent graduates shows the importance of the Minnesota State Grant, which provides need-based grants to over 100,000 Minnesotans.



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Governor Dayton Aids University of Minnesota’s Effort to Revive the Declining Bee Population

Posted on March 17, 2014 at 2:18 PM
Categories: Agriculture, Jobs, Economy, Education

      

Bee_Blog

 

Photo credit: Flickr user ndboy

 

Bees are receiving their share of the spotlight during this year’s legislative session. Governor Dayton’s bonding proposal recommends investing $12 million in the University of Minnesota Bee research laboratory, which will foster the expansion of agriculture research and help revitalize Minnesota’s bee population.

 

The work of pollinators is vital to the health of numerous fruits, vegetables, and crops worldwide, accounting for one in every three bites of food. These busy insects improve the vitality of nearly half of Minnesota’s entire crop production, which translates to thousands of jobs. Overall, Minnesota’s farm and foods sectors generate $74 billion in annual economic activity for our state – helping to sustain communities across the state. The declining population is a growing concern, and Governor Dayton’s recommendation is a promising investment for thousands of Minnesota farmers.     

 


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Governor Dayton’s bonding proposal supports critical Duluth projects

Posted on January 27, 2014 at 8:00 AM
Categories: Jobs, Greater Minnesota, Education

2014_01_24_gmd_at_umd

Last Friday, Governor Mark Dayton traveled to the University of Minnesota - Duluth to have a conversation with students, faculty, and staff about recent investments Minnesota’s future. In 2013, the Governor worked closely with the Legislature to make major investments in job creation, property tax relief, and education. Governor Dayton’s budget invests $86.5 million in job creation efforts that will leverage $1.5 billion in private sector investment – creating thousands of good jobs. But, they didn’t stop there – they worked to provide middle class Minnesotans $400 million in needed property tax relief.


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Jobs Proposal Regional Highlights

Posted on January 23, 2014 at 1:46 PM
Categories: Bonding, Education, Greater Minnesota, Jobs

Click to enlarge

Click on the map to enlarge - click here to download the map as an Adobe .PDF.

Governor Dayton’s bonding proposal is focused on making the kind of long term investments proven to create jobs.  The bill would put up to 27,000 Minnesotans back to work by investing in improvements in infrastructure, our colleges and universities, and many other regional economic development projects.

The proposal also includes additional projects of statewide and regional importance, including investments in water, natural resources, and other important services for Minnesotans. See the attached document for a breakdown of regional highlights in the Governor’s Bonding Proposal.

#
Region
Project
Amount in Millions
Description
1
NE
Airline Terminal Expansion,
International Falls
$2,000
The Governor recommends $2 million for a grant to the International Falls–Koochiching County Airport Commission to be used as the local match to federal funds to construct a new airline terminal facility located in International Falls. The total project cost is $11.3 million.
2
NE
Chisholm-Hibbing Airport,
Hibbing
$5,000
The Governor recommends $5 million for a grant to the Chisholm-Hibbing Airport Authority to demolish the existing terminal and to construct a new passenger terminal and boarding bridge, and associated equipment at the Range Regional Airport. A local match is required.
3
Ne
NorShor Theatre Historic Renovation, Duluth
$6,950
The Governor recommends $6.95 million for a grant to the Duluth Economic Development Authority for renovations to the NorShor Arts Center. The state bond proceeds would be used specifically to facilitate skywalk and handicapped accessibility and provide public access to the newly renovated NorShor Arts Center. The total project cost is $22.35 million.
4
NW
Northland Community & Technical College Aviation Maintenance Facility, Thief River Falls
$3,909
The Governor recommends $3.909 million to address the future needs of the Unmanned Aerial Systems and Imagery Analyst programs. This project includes demolition and replacement of technical space to meet program objectives and industry requirements.
5
NW
Road Repair, Second Street South, Fosston
$400
The Governor recommends $400,000 for a grant to the City of Fosston to reconstruct Second Street South, bringing the road to a 10-ton capacity to accommodate both residential and farm-to-market traffic. The total project cost is $1.3 million.
6
CE
MN State Community and Technical College, Moorhead Transportation Center, Moorhead
$4,363
The Governor recommends $4.363 million to expand the Transportation Center on the Moorhead campus. New labs for the diesel technology program will accommodate larger and more modern diesel agriculture, construction and transportation equipment, and will relieve unsafe congestion in the existing laboratories.
7
CE
Central Lakes College, Staples
$3,054
The Governor recommends $3.054 million to renovate the Staples campus. Core student service functions will be right-sized and reconfigured into a one-stop service center. Additionally, the facility energy systems will be upgraded to include photovoltaic solar panels and energy efficient windows and doors.
8
CE
River's Edge Convention Center, St. Cloud
$11,560
The Governor recommends $11.56 for a grant to the City of St. Cloud to complete an expansion of the St. Cloud River’s Edge Convention Center. The total project cost is approximately $39 million with $26 million already spent.
9
SW
South Hawk Creek Business Park, Clara City
$748
The Governor recommends $748,000 for a grant to Clara City for local road construction and water and sewer improvements to a new business park. The total project cost is $1.5 million.
10
SW
Southwest Regional Sports Center, Marshall
$4,298
The Governor recommends $4.298 million in state bonding to construct a southwest regional sports center in Marshall, Minnesota. The sports center would feature two ice sheets that could be converted to volleyball/basketball courts as well as ten outdoor athletic fields that could be used for soccer, lacrosse, rugby, football, and other field sports.
11
SW
Lewis & Clark Regional Water System, Luverne
$20,203
The Governor recommends $20.203 million for a grant to the Lewis and Clark Joint Powers Board for Phase 1 of the Lewis & Clark Regional Water System project. Phase 1 will deliver water to the City of Luverne in December 2015. The total project cost is $70.564 million, and it is a three-phase project.
12
SW
Minnesota State Arena, Mankato
$14,500
The Governor recommends $14.5 million for a grant to the City of Mankato for renovating and expanding the Minnesota State Arena and Events Center. The project’s total cost is $32 million.
13
SE
Mayo Civic Center, Rochester
$37,000
The Governor recommends $37 million for a grant to the City of Rochester for the expansion and remodeling of the Mayo Civic Center in Rochester. The total project cost is $81.1 million.
14
SE
Winona State University, Winona
$3,935
The Governor recommends $3.935 million to begin work on Phase I of the Education Village renovation project. The predesign plan includes the reuse of three buildings that will be renovated into space that integrates specialty labs and classrooms for all education programs.
15
SE
Minnesota State College, SE Technical, Red Wing / Winona
$1,133
The Governor recommends $1.133 million to renovate carpentry classroom space on the Red Wing campus and medical lab space and welding lab space on the Winona campus. The projects will modernize space, convert storage space into classroom space, provide multi-use space that will serve all academic programs of the college, and assist the campuses with better meeting industry standards.
16
MA
Minnesota Children's Museum, Saint Paul
$14,000
The Governor recommends $14 million for a grant to the City of St. Paul to expand and renovate the Minnesota Children’s Museum. The total project cost is $28 million.
17
MA
TCAAP (Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant), Arden Hills
$29,000
The Governor recommends $29 million for a grant to Ramsey County for improvements to bridges and roadways near the Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant (TCAAP) site. A local match is required.
18
MA
Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis
$20,000
The Governor recommends $20 million for a grant to the City of Minneapolis for the revitalization of the Nicollet Mall. The project will rebuild Nicollet Mall from building face to building face and will include pedestrian, roadway, and transitway improvements. The total project cost is estimated to be approximately $53 million.
19
MA
Minnesota State Capitol Restoration, Saint Paul
$126,300
The Governor recommends $126.3 million to complete the restoration of the State Capitol Building. The Capitol Resoration project includes repairs to the deteriorating building façade and modernization of the mechanical, electrical, plumbing, life-safety, security and telecommunication systems.

Click here to download the map as an Adobe .PDF. 

To see the full list of the Governor's bonding recommendations, please visit this page.


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Delivering Results for Minnesota Students

Posted on January 08, 2014 at 10:39 AM
Categories: Education, Budget

Dayton meets with students at Winona State University
Governor Dayton meets with students at Winona State University to discuss Minnesota's future.

Education

In 2013, Governor Dayton and the Minnesota Legislature made a major investment in education, from pre-school to college, and ensured that every dollar previously borrowed from our schools has been paid back in full. The Governor made historic investments in early learning, all-day Kindergarten, financial assistance for college students, and tuition freezes at state colleges and universities that will help make higher education more affordable. Ultimately, these key investments – and historic gains in academic achievement made this year by students and teachers – made 2013 a landmark year for education in Minnesota.

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Minnesota announces new plan to prevent and end homelessness

Posted on December 20, 2013 at 3:44 PM
Categories: Health, Economy, Education

2013_12_19_homelessness_event.jpg
Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius with Jackson Elementary School students

Despite Minnesota’s growing economy, homelessness remains a major problem across our state. Studies estimate that on any given night more than 10,000 Minnesotans are homeless – more than half of them children. However, Minnesota has a new plan to change that. Yesterday, state officials joined Saint Paul Mayor Chris Coleman and Minneapolis Mayor-elect Betsy Hodges at Jackson Elementary School in Saint Paul to announce Minnesota’s new Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness.
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Countdown to Learning: STARBASE Minnesota is helping create next generation of engineers

Posted on November 04, 2013 at 10:00 AM
Categories: Education


You can find more STARBASE Minnesota videos on their Youtube channel here.

We all know science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) are incredibly important to Minnesota’s economy. Right now, Minnesota simply isn’t producing enough engineers and scientists to meet the demand. One Minnesota non-profit is working to change that.

STARBASE Minnesota is working to foster an interest in science, technology, engineering, and math in elementary school kids. Their innovative program exposes Minnesota students to exciting science experiments, model rocket launches, and high-tech engineering software. 

When children arrive at STARBASE’s Fort Snelling location for the weeklong program, staff greet them wearing blue flight suits ready to take them in to a hands on world of science based learning. The organization isn’t just sparking a brief interest in science either. A recent study by the Wilder Foundation found that kids that participate in the program are more likely to graduate from high school on time, attend college, and pursue a career in a STEM field.

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