For the majority of public school students in Minnesota, school does not start for two more weeks.
Yet, Brenda Cassellius, Minnesota Depart-ment of Education Commissioner is ready to talk about the new year now.
Cassellius said she is excited about the new school year, and added she is planning to do a lot of traveling over the next several months to meet with school districts statewide.
Those who would like to have her stop at their school can make a request on the MDE Web site. During those stops, Cassellius is going to be talking about a variety of education issues, especially as they relate to new investments the state is making.
One of the significant investments being made, which was approved by the state legislature during the 2013 legislative session, was the move to fund all day, every day kindergarten across Minnesota.
“Research continues to show early childhood education is so important,” Cassellius said. “Having that high-quality early education is like gold.”
While the funding for full-time kindergarten education does not officially start until the 2014-15 school year, Cassell-ius said many school districts, including the Redwood Area School District have already implemented the program and others are going to put in place this school year in advance of the full funding.
Testing changes are also on the horizon, said Cassellius, who said a new MCA test in math at the high school level is being implemented this year, and that test is then going to be replaced with another test for the following year as the state moves toward meeting more rigorous math standards.
Cassellius said the state continues to emphasize the tenets of its No Child Left Behind waiver, adding improvements have been made, especially in the area of closing the achievement gap.
Scores from the MCA tests, which were administered during the 2012-13 school year, are being released Aug. 27.
Cassellius believes this is going to be a great year to be involved in education.