In accordance with Minnesota Statutes 2013, section 120B.11, a school board, at a public meeting, shall adopt a comprehensive, long-term strategic plan to support and improve teaching and learning that is aligned with creating the world's best workforce (WBWF). Minnesota schools strive to provide the best educational opportunities for all children. Providing an education to Minnesota youth that leads to creating the world’s best workforce is a goal that must be addressed early on in every child’s life. Students are more likely to reach this goal if they are ready for school upon entering kindergarten; achieve grade-level literacy by grade three; graduate from high school and attain career and college readiness. In order to create the world’s best workforce, it is imperative that academic achievement gaps are closed among all racial and ethnic groups of students and between students living in poverty and not living in poverty as well as for English language learners and non-English language learners and for students who receive or do not receive special education. The comprehensive strategic plan that districts create is intended to serve as a foundational document to align educational initiatives that serve to ensure reaching intended student outcomes from pre-kindergarten to post high school graduation. Districts should consider and use existing plans, documents and strategies that may already be in place and/or are required by the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE), such as the Title I Plan, School Improvement Plans; School Readiness Program Plan; Local Literacy Plan; Student Transition Plan to College and Career Readiness; Plan for Educator Effectiveness, Q Comp, Alternative Delivery of Specialized Instructional Services, Continuous Improvement Monitoring Progress Plan, Integration Plan. This district-level strategic plan should illustrate how the various existing district plans fit together and serve as a blueprint to create a quality workforce equipped with necessary skills for the 21st century.
What is the World’s Best Workforce?
The World’s Best Workforce bill was passed in 2013 to ensure every school district in the state is making strides to increase student performance. Each district must develop a plan that addresses the following five goals:
- All children are ready for school.
- All third-graders can read at grade level.
- All racial and economic achievement gaps between students are closed.
- All students are ready for career and college.
- All students graduate from high school.
Why is Minnesota focused on this idea?
For Minnesota to be competitive, we must have students who are college and career ready, students who are poised to lead the state’s workforce. This is important for a number of reasons:
- Our population is aging.
- Seventy percent (70%) of jobs will require more than a high school diploma by 2018.
- We don’t have qualified candidates to fill many good-paying jobs.
- The fastest growing segment of our future workforce is students of color, and they currently have the state’s lowest graduation rate.
- Minnesota has one of the worst black-white achievement gaps in the country.
How will we measure progress?
Each district will create their own plan to align curriculum and instruction so that students are college and career ready. The success of each plan will be measured by:
- NAEP scores
- Closing the gap by student group
- MCA scores
- College entrance exams
What do Minnesota school boards need to do?
School boards in each district across the state must establish an advisory committee that will:
- Involve the community during plan development.
- Include members that reflect the diversity of the district and its schools
- Make recommendations to the school board on rigorous academic standards and student achievement goals and measures.
District leaders will post an annual report on their progress, hold annual public meetings, and are required to submit a summary report to the Minnesota Department of Education.
What role does the Minnesota Department of Education play?
While each district’s World’s Best Workforce plan will be developed and implemented locally, the Minnesota Department of Education will offer support to districts when needed. This could mean helping to identify areas where a district is struggling, or sharing best practices that might help a district raise student performance.