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Governor Dayton Establishes Task Force to Address School Bullying

Posted on November 29, 2011 at 4:48 PM
Categories: Education

Today, Governor Dayton announced the formation of a Task Force to address the serious problem of bullying in our schools.

He was joined by Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius, Public Safety Commissioner Mona Doman, Human Rights Commissioner Kevin Lindsey, Rep. Jim Davnie, Sen. Scott Dibble and anti-bullying advocate Tammy Aaberg.    

“Bullying causes severe suffering and harm to the children, who are its victims; and we must do more to stop it.  Children and parents in Minnesota should have confidence that their schools are safe places for learning and are free of harm or intimidation.  The work of this Task Force is critical to ensuring that a healthy and nurturing school environment exists for every child in our state," said Governor Dayton.

The task force will be made up of no more than 15 members, to be appointed by Governor Dayton through the open appointments process.  Members of the taskforce will include the Commissioners of the Department of Education, the Department of Human Rights, the Department of Public Safety and members of the legislature.  The Governor will also appoint additional members with experience or expertise in psychology, education, pediatrics and anti-bullying advocacy.


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Minnesota Ranks Second in Nationwide Opportunity Index

Posted on November 28, 2011 at 2:39 PM
Categories: Education, Jobs, Economy

Opportunity Nation ranked Minnesota 2nd in the nation today in a new index that measures how effectively individuals can move up the economic ladder, according to Northland's NewsCenter.

The Opportunity Index ranked all 50 states using indicators such as the unemployment rate, poverty rate, on-time graduation rate, and others to assign a first of its kind Opportunity Score. Minnesota earned an Opportunity Score of 81.2 out of 100.

According to the announcement, Minnesota earned high marks:

Minnesota outperformed almost every other state in the union, earning an Opportunity Score of 81.2 out of 100.   A few of the highlights that helped set Minnesota apart include:

- Weathering the Economic Downturn: During a time when a majority of the country is struggling to make ends meet, Minnesota’s residents earn a slightly higher on average income than most Americans ($57,007 vs. $51,425).  In addition, their statewide poverty rate is just over 10% compared to the national average of 13.47% and their unemployment rate is significantly lower than the national unemployment rate (7.4% vs. 9.1%, respectfully).


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Education Commissioner Cassellius, Higher Ed Director Pogemiller highlight College Application Week

Posted on November 18, 2011 at 10:01 AM
Categories: Education

Yesterday, Education Commissioner Dr. Brenda Cassellius and Higher Education Director Larry Pogemiller visited Irondale High School for College Application Week — an initiative designed to engage and inform students across the state about the college application process.

All Minnesota high schools can participate in College Application Week, and seventeen Minnesota high schools have indicated they are planning to pilot a program, with the assistance of trained school staff and volunteers, that aims to assist all their seniors in completing a college application. Irondale High School in New Brighton is one of 17 Minnesota high schools piloting a program this year to increase the number of college applicants.

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Caption: Irondale High School students meet with Commissioner Cassellius (second from right) during her visit to to Irondale High School for College Application Week. State Representative Kate Knuth, an Irondale alumna, also visited with students.


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Governor Dayton proclaims Minnesota College Application Week

Posted on November 14, 2011 at 1:07 PM
Categories: Education

Governor Dayton has proclaimed this week, November 14-18, 2011, as Minnesota College Application Week, to acknowledge and highlight the importance of high school students being prepared to apply to college.

College Application Week is an initiative designed to engage and inform students across the state about the college application process, according to the Minnesota Department of Education.The primary goal at the high school level is to increase the number of students completing a college application, especially first-generation college applicants.

During this week many Minnesota colleges and universities will accept an application fee waiver for those students with a demonstrated financial need in order to ensure that no student is deprived of the opportunity to pursue admission to the institution(s) of their choice due to financial hardship.

All Minnesota high schools may participate in this initiative, and seventeen Minnesota high schools have indicated they are planning to pilot a program, with the assistance of trained school staff and volunteers, that aims to assist all their seniors in completing a college application.


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Minnesota Students Leading the Nation in Math Scores

Posted on November 01, 2011 at 12:07 PM
Categories: Education

Minnesota’s grade-school students are leading the nation in overall math scores, according to “The Nation’s Report Card”, which was released today. Minnesota’s fourth and eighth graders scored significantly higher than the national average, continuing a trend of excellence in both reading and math scores. The high scores are encouraging, but a sense of urgency is created by the fact that Minnesota’s scores remained flat as compared to 2009.


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Minnesota Recognized for Progress in Teacher Evaluation

Posted on October 31, 2011 at 1:24 PM
Categories: Education

Minnesota’s new teacher-evaluation law, passed during the 2011 legislative session, is one of 17 state plans being lauded by the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ), a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit that advocates for reform to teacher training, evaluation and compensation.

As reported by MinnPost today, the Minnesota law was applauded for meeting most of the goals set forth by NCTQ through its approach to more strongly factor student achievement into teacher ratings. As seen in the full report:

“The move to rethink how to evaluate teachers and explicitly tie assessments of teacher performance to student achievement marks an important shift in thinking about teacher quality,”


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Senator Pogemiller Appointed as Director of Office of Higher Education

Posted on October 31, 2011 at 11:33 AM
Categories: Education

On Friday, Governor Dayton appointed Senator Larry Pogemiller as the new Director of the Office of Higher Education. Senator Pogemiller has been a leading voice in higher education issues through more than three decades of service in the Minnesota Senate.

Senator Pogemiller’s district includes the University of Minnesota campus. The Star Tribune reported that Governor Dayton emphasized Pogemiller’s opportunity to reshape higher education policy.

"Senator Pogemiller is one of the smartest, most talented, and most dedicated people I have ever met in public service,” Said Governor Dayton.  “He brings unparalleled experience and expertise in the legislative process and in public policy issues.  He is the perfect choice for the Office of Higher Education at this critical juncture for higher education in Minnesota.”  


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Governor Dayton attends groundbreaking for new science and engineering building in St. Cloud

Posted on October 27, 2011 at 3:10 PM
Categories: Education, Jobs, Technology

Today, Governor Mark Dayton attended the groundbreaking of a new Integrated Science and Engineering Laboratory Facility building on the St. Cloud State University campus.  The new building was funded as a part of the 2011 bonding bill.  Construction of a state of the art science and engineering building will create over 1400 jobs and its presence on campus will ensure that St. Cloud State students are well-prepared for the jobs of the future for decades to come.

ISELF-groundbreaking.jpg
   
The 100,000 square-foot research and teaching facility will house classrooms and labs which are slated to serve high-level science, technology, engineering, mathematics, medical technology, and radiology classes.  It is estimated that 11% of the new jobs created in Minnesota by 2019 will be in the science and technology sectors.  This new facility will help accommodate a 20% increase in enrollment in Science and Engineering majors at St. Cloud State.  Additionally, the research done in this new facility can be used to support Minnesota companies and spur further innovations. 
 
The new building is slated to open in the fall of 2013.

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Governor Dayton named 'Advocate of the Year' by the U of M Alumni Association

Posted on October 12, 2011 at 5:21 PM
Categories: Education

The University of Minnesota announced today that Governor Dayton will be recognized as “Advocate of the Year” by its Alumni Association on October 20th.

The award is presented to individuals who dedicate their time and effort to promoting the University. Governor Dayton was selected for his efforts in preserving state funding for the school, as well as emphasizing the importance of the University of Minnesota and its role within the state.

“Governor Dayton has time and again demonstrated his passion for higher education, and he has gone above and beyond in advocating for the University of Minnesota this past year," said Phil Esten, president and chief executive officer of the Alumni Association.

Read the University of Minnesota's full release here.

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Wayzata math teacher awarded the 'Oscars of Teaching'

Posted on October 10, 2011 at 5:18 PM
Categories: Education

The Minnesota Department of Education announced today that Seth Brown, a middle school math teacher at Wayzata West Middle School, was honored by the Milken Family Foundation with a Milken Educator Award, one of the education's most prestigious recognitions.

Brown was honored at a routine schoolwide assembly that turned into a surprise ceremony. He is known for his expertise as a mathematics teacher and for the creative use of technology in his classroom.

The Milken Educator award, known as "the Oscars of Teaching," recognizes the importance of outstanding educators and encourages talented young people to enter the teaching profession. It comes with a $25,000 prize.

“Teachers like Seth that consistently go above and beyond in their classrooms are true heroes in every sense of the word,” said Commissioner Cassellius. "It’s wonderful to be a part of honoring Seth’s remarkable achievements as a world-class educator, and to acknowledge the positive impact he has had on his students, in his school and on the profession of teaching.”

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