Published Online: January 3, 2006

Minnesota's State Highlights

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Vital Statistics
Public schools 2,187
Public school teachers 51,611
Pre-K-12 students 842,854
Annual pre-K-12 expenditures $6.9 billion
Minority students 19.8%
Children in poverty 11%
Students with disabilities 13.5%
English-language learners 6.3%

Summary of Grades

Minnesota earns an above-average grade in two of the four graded policy categories in Quality Counts.

In standards and accountability, the state scores slightly below average. Minnesota does well on indicators related to academic standards. But there is much room for improvement in the area of assessments, where the state has assessments aligned to its standards only in English and mathematics.

Minnesota again falls below average for its efforts to improve teacher quality. The state does not require aspiring teachers to have a major or minor in the subject to be taught to receive an initial teaching license. In addition, those entering the profession through alternative routes do not need to demonstrate subject-knowledge expertise through coursework or tests before entering the classroom.

The state performs well-above average in the area of school climate. Minnesota earns high marks for its efforts related to choice and autonomy. The state has a public school open-enrollment program and the strength of its charter school law earns the highest possible rating from the Center for Education Reform.

In resource equity, Minnesota fares considerably better than the average state. Its score on the wealth-neutrality measure indicates that poorer districts in the state tend to have higher per-pupil funding levels than do wealthier districts. Minnesota is one of only 10 states in which this pattern is found.

State Policy Report Card
Minnesota Avg. State Score
Standards and accountability C+ B-
Efforts to improve teacher quality C C+
School climate B C+
Resource equity B C
Overall Grade B- C+
Quality Counts Grading Breakdown
Standards and accountability Points awardedPoints possible
Standards 37.92 40
Assessment 18.41 30
School accountability 21 30
77 100
Efforts to improve teacher quality Points awardedPoints possible
Teacher education and qualifications 25.81 35
Teacher assessment 21.3 30
Professional support and training 14.25 20
Accountability for teacher quality 12.6 15
74 100
School climate Points awardedPoints possible
Engagement 13.67 15
School safety 13.67 20
Parent involvement 13.05 15
Choice and autonomy 20 20
Class size 8.03 10
School size 7.5 10
School facilities 7.5 10
83 100
Resource equity Points awardedPoints possible
Wealth-neutrality score 33.33 33.3
McLoone Index 25 33.3
Coefficient of variation 25 33.3
83 100
Note: Details may not sum to totals due to rounding.

Vol. 25, Issue 17

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