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Minnesota’s Graduation Rate up in 2014

Grad Minnesota logoGradMinnesota, the multipartisan initiative with Minnesota Alliance With Youth, the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE), and the Office of the Governor is working towards achieving a 90 percent graduation rate in Minnesota by 2020. Begun less than two years ago, the initiative is having great success as evidenced by its continued growth and involvement in key activities promoting graduation and success for all youth. On February 24, the Minnesota Department of Education released the 2014 Minnesota graduation rates, showing that 81.2 percent of Minnesota students graduated from high school, up from 79.8 percent in 2013. During MDE Commissioner Brenda Cassellius’s press conference that same day, GradMinnesota was highlighted as a key partner in the effort to raise the Minnesota graduation rate and the success seen in 2014.

The GradMinnesota Advisory Council met that same month, with more than two dozen representatives from nonprofits, schools, MDE, and counties in attendance. The broad-based coalition of partners discussed GradMinnesota’s next steps and the initiative’s priorities for 2015. The council agreed on the following strategies to achieve its goals:

Legislative Advocacy: Advocate at the legislature to build awareness, influence best practice, and pass legislation to achieve the 2020 vision and goals with focus on the seven GradMinnesota recommendations.*

Communication: Design and implement a communication plan to raise public awareness and inform community, school, and other relevant organizations of the graduation crisis; and garner support to achieve the 2020 vision and goals with focus on the seven GradMinnesota recommendations.

Resource Repository: Design and compile an electronic repository of resources that can be used to disseminate best practices and locate technical assistance focused on the seven GradMinnesota recommendations for use by communities, schools, organizations, and educators.

Interagency Collaboration: Maintain and further develop an alliance of entities working together to achieve and sustain the GradMinnesota 2020 vision and goals; with the intent to create a government Interagency Office focused on all young people in Minnesota graduating from high school prepared for success in postsecondary opportunities, work, civic engagement, and life.

Become a part of the movement to close the opportunity and achievement gaps in Minnesota by signing on as a GradMinnesota partner. Contact Sarah Dixon at sdixon@mnyouth.net to learn more.

*The GradMinnesota recommendations are: 1. Ensure quality data is available and used to effectively target supports for students. 2. Make sure a tiered framework of interventions and supports is effectively implemented. 3. Increase mentoring throughout the state to enhance educational success. 4. Design and connect services to recover and re-engage youth. 5. Replace exclusionary discipline policies and practices with more effective alternatives. 6. Make transportation available to ensure access to learning opportunities through graduation. 7. Provide effective alternative pathways and additional time to earn a diploma.

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