New Ed. Commissioner Not Happy With State’s School Ranking

By Edgar Linares, NewsRadio 830 WCCO

ST. PAUL (WCCO) — Minnesota’s ranked 36th in overall education for grades K-12. That’s according to Education Week magazine and their annual Quality Counts report.

On this 15th edition, it gives Minnesota schools an overall grade of C.

“I think it’s not a grade that we’re happy with,” said newly appointed Education Commissioner, Brenda Cassellius.

“I do feel that there’s urgency with this work,” said Cassellius. “And this is one indication of the urgency around really looking at supporting our teachers.”

Cassellius said the report is an external piece of information that is used in gauging our policies and reforms.

The report gave “K-12 achievement” in Minnesota a C grade, and on “improving teaching” a D+. In “Chances for Success” it ranked Minnesota 8th with a B+.

Cassellius believes one way to improve our grade is by starting with kids at a younger age and closing the achievement gaps.

“I think we need to reform some of our policies. I think we need to look at our accountability systems and creating a shared vision across this state on what we think we can get done for kids. Create some goals that we can all rally around,” said Cassellius. “And begin to really look at what we can do to support the instructional core. And what I mean is really supporting teachers, supporting students who are really engaged in getting relevant information.”

The report gave the entire nation a C for Education Policy and Performance.

“We all want to do our best work. I’ve never met a teacher who doesn’t want to come to school every day and make a difference for every child,” said Cassellius.

Cassellius said what it’s really about is getting the teachers the tools they need to be successful.

NewsRadio 830 WCCO’s Edgar Linares Reports

More from Edgar Linares
  • Kevin

    Highest taxes and an Educational rating near the bottom of the list. The Minnesota Teachers Union must be so proud to have total protection of their employment….with no retribution for poor performance! I really messed up in life…I should have been a looser teacher and union member….I could then be ranked in the toilet….and have total job security! Can we no make all education private! This is another Comedy Central Minnesota minute….

  • Alan

    Can be a teacher with such poor spelling, “looser”.

  • thumbody

    Lets take it out on the kids rather than the teachers, how about 18 hour days 6 days a week starting at age 3. Regardless of teacher competency!

  • English Teacher

    Kevin…Should have been an english teacher with his excellent grammar usage…”Looser”…peak of the devil.. I think you actually need a college degree to be a teacher…sorry Kevin!!!!!

    • Kevin

      The whole degree things seems to be working really well for you and the the piles of garbage that suck my tax dollars and rank at the bottom of the garbage pile..nice job teacher…..must be proud…can I put a “I rank 36th” bumper sticker on my car? Funny if I sucked…I would get fired…if teachers suck….they just get a levy passed to get more money…to suck more…..

  • Joe

    Kevin = Fool, you have no idea what you are typing about.

    • Kevin

      Hey Joe….its “talking about” not typing about….you a teacher too? Want to buy a “I rank 36th” bumper sticker?

    • Kevin

      Joe= liberal gay rights mentor who loves failing systems….

  • English Teacher

    Wow…Kevin….Now I see it!!! You failed to take advantage of the free education provided and ended up with a crummy life filled with uneducated opinions and that’s why you’re so stupid…Ignorance is bliss!!!!

    • Kevin

      Stupid….ignorant….uneducated….failed….crummy life… Teacher…you are a perfect symbol of MN liberals…I may be all of the above…but I still do not rank 36th in the nation! Maybe if i went to school in a state with better teachers…I would be as smart and as gifted as yourself……typical liberal bs…..those who see through the liberal bs….are stupid, ignorant, uneducated failures with a crummy life…….I have to get back to work…see if I suck I get fired….if you suck…you just blame Palin and Bush and increase taxes……now go on back and teach my kids with your “36th” level of excellence…..and I am ignorant?

      • English Teacher

        Kevin…thanks for admitting what everyone here reading this was already thinking…”stupid…ignorant…etc” It’s just too bad you were smart enough to figure out how to breed because now I have to find a way to educate your offspring. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree…

  • John

    Well, let’s grow up gentlemen! As a teacher, I want nothing more than to see our kids succeed. But first; take the home lives of some of our kids in single parent environments at an early age or the fact that they have no reasonable role models in life. However, I do agree with SOME of your point Kevin. I agree that some teachers who are just in it for retirement NEED to go. I understand and agree with some of your frustration. But there are many other areas of our country that are just like this type of situation (politics perhaps?) Are you telling me that our politicians are 100% on the money all of the time? Look at all the C-F’s we have had in the last few years that have NOT been handled well at all. No one is perfect!

    Try teaching a room full of 35-40 middle school children and each student coming out with “A’s” 100% of the time. Give us some slack, and remember this: A teacher only gets about 40 min/day with each student. They are home from ~3:00pm to the next morning. So really, where does most learning come from? Start in the homes, point to the person in the mirror first and start taking more responsibility as parents and role models. Now if you will excuse me, I have class to prepare for.

  • Alan

    Let’s all give Kevin a nice pat on the head, a big “awwwww”, and send him on his bitter little way. Moving on . . .

  • Alan

    By the way, I’m ex-MN, now in Maryland, which is ranked #1 in this latest survey. Major league education out here, and our teachers are unionized and make way more than those in Minnesota. So much for Kevin’s “suck” correlation. Perhaps it’s that our residents are, on average, well educated and have started sustainable businesses. I used to live in “Bachman country”, and I have no problem believing that people out there voted that loser into office. They all are just waiting for a crowd-reinforced excuse for being hateful jerks. And schools out there particularly suck.

  • Alan


    Thank you for your service.


  • Kevin

    Why is it you teachers want to “pat” me on the head? Which head? I am not one of your students! Pat them on their “head”…..I will watch on CNN…now again go give the children of Minnesota all of your 36% effort!!!!!! Were #36!!!!!

  • Pat

    I’d bet money that the whole education system would improve if more emphasis were put on teaching Basic English instead of pushing Chinese into the curriculum as Alice (former commissioner) did.

  • Tim Pawlenty Becomes the Democrats Favorite Candidate » The Strange Death of Liberal America

    […] Then there is the state’s once vaunted education system whose rankings have been falling almost as fast as that bridge. Once recognized as having one of the best and most innovative public education systems in the country Minnesota has fallen to the middle of the pack. In its 2011 Quality Counts report Education Week ranked Minnesota 36th overall. […]

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