Committee Chair: Ms. Adrece Thighman-Nabe
Based on Department Of Education Reports, 2011
Minnesota has long enjoyed a reputation for its high-quality public education, placing at or near the top in many nation-wide rankings and measures. But these encouraging statistics mask growing concerns of a widening achievement gap that is leaving many students unprepared for a successful future. Currently:
- Seventy-seven percent of the 3rd graders across the state read at grade level in 2011, but only 60 percent of those who transferred schools during the year did.
- About 49 percent of 11th grade students in Minnesota achieved state standards in math in 2011, up significantly from 30 percent in 2006. High school juniors in the Twin Cities are slightly more likely to be proficient than those in Greater Minnesota.
- Overall, only about three-quarters of our state.s students graduated on time from high school in 2011; but only 55 percent of students of color. There has been little progress improving this rate during the past 6 years.
- The ratio of guidance counselors to student in Minnesota.s Public Schools is 1:800. The national average is 1:450.
- The growing cost of higher education at all levels is putting it out of reach for students of color.
COBM’s proposal for Education Achievement Disparity Eradication Initiative which includes the following:
- Require the Department of Education (DE) to assess school districts guidance counseling services and assist them with developing and implementing a plan of action to bring guidance counseling services in line with the national ratio of students to guidance counselor, and diversify counseling staff to mirror the student diversity of the district, where the need exist,
- Require the DE to assess school districts racial diversity in teaching staff and assist them with developing and implementing a plan of action to bring the racial diversity of the district teaching staff to mirror the student diversity of the district, where the need exist, and
Require the DE to explore the establishment and operational approach of an endowment that pays the tuition of any public school student that gains admission to a public higher education institution in Minnesota.
The Commissioner of the Department of Education will report to the Community, Legislature and Governor by December 31, 2013 on the aforementioned