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States are grappling with numerous decisions that may have wide-ranging impacts on educators, students, community members, and other stakeholders. One of the most critical decisions is selecting initiatives to improve instruction and learning. MWCC is collaborating with the Iowa Department of Education (IDE) on the implementation of standards and early childhood initiatives, using implementation science as its framework to ensure a thoughtful and coordinated approach.
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The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) administers about 65 surveys a year. These surveys help gauge needs, gather feedback, inform programs and policy, and fulfill legislative requirements. Ensuring the quality, utility, and coordination of these surveys poses a challenge for MDE. To address this challenge, the Midwest Comprehensive Center partnered with MDE in 2015 and 2016 to build the agency’s capacity in survey methodology, enhance overall survey quality, and streamline the coordination of surveys across divisions.
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In 2016, the Iowa Department of Education (IDE) launched its work to revise the state’s social studies standards, which were previously adopted in 2008. To support the standards writing process, the Midwest Comprehensive Center surveyed other states and conducted a scan to determine how other states approached the revision of social studies standards. The MWCC also synthesized best practices related to standards revision and social studies content.
Sara Rand
Sarah Rand is a Partner Engagement and Communications Consultant with the Midwest Comprehensive Center (MWCC). As a member of the MWCC team, she provided strategic communications support for the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) in late 2015 and early 2016. Sarah talked to us about how she supported MDE and how she applies lessons from this work to other contexts.
Nara Nayar
What do you want to do after high school? Attend college? Complete vocational training? Students across Wisconsin will soon have the opportunity to consider their plans and pathways through a focused Academic Career Planning (ACP) process. The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) envisions ACP as a student-driven process in which students in middle school through high school have the opportunity to engage in career exploration, planning, and preparation.
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These students are learning an essential life skill: the ability to set, monitor, adapt, achieve, and evaluate goals. The skill is one of several learning goals in the new Social and Emotional Learning Framework under development by the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE). To support this framework, The Midwest Comprehensive Center (MWCC) is partnering with MDE’s School Safety Technical Assistance Center to develop a suite of SEL resources and tools for districts, including the new K–12 SEL framework.
The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requires “affected” school districts to consult with tribal governments on the development of district education plan for programs covered by ESSA. ESSA requires that tribal consultation be both timely and meaningful. This practice brief is intended to serve as an overview of ESSA tribal consultation requirements and as guidance for school districts in developing consultation plans.
This brief provides an overview of tribal consultation requirements under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Research shows that when culture is integrated into the curriculum, American Indian students have a greater chance of academic success. Similarly, when tribal communities and families are engaged and when schools and communities work together to increase support for American Indian students, students are more likely to succeed.

Impact Stories

Native American girl using iPad

In 2012, American Indian students in Minnesota had a graduation rate of 42 percent. The overall Minnesota graduation rate at the time was 77 percent. The data on mathematics and reading proficiency that the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) had for the same year also highlighted a significant achievement gap between the state’s American Indian and overall student populations.

Collaborators at a table

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction’s (Wisconsin DPI’s) Academic & Career Planning (ACP) initiative is intended to encourage students to take active ownership of their education and college or career goals. Wisconsin DPI anticipates that increased student engagement in postsecondary planning will improve graduation rates and college and career readiness.