Ensuring that all Minnesota students count
To help ensure that all students get what they need to succeed, we first need to understand where they are now. Minnesota already collects information on how students are doing—from kindergarten readiness to reading proficiency to high school graduation rates—but we can do much more to break down this information in a way that uncovers hidden gaps and identifies bright spots. Currently, for example, we know how black and Asian students in Minnesota are doing, but have no information on student groups within these broad racial and ethnic categories, such as Hmong and Somali learners. Our current approach therefore masks disparities, making it difficult to target, and evaluate, programs to support the most underserved students.
Better data disaggregation can help policymakers and educators develop strategies to help all kids excel. After years of hard work from legislators, advocates, and families, Minnesota is poised to implement a groundbreaking law to break down and make the most of our student achievement data. Now, we must make sure state leaders implement the All Kids Count Act effectively and leverage the resulting data to close gaps and ramp up strategies that are working for the state’s most underserved kids.