World's Best Workforce

2016 Legislative Changes to World’s Best Workforce

Several changes related to the World’s Best Workforce (WBWF) legislation were made during the 2016 legislative session (Minn. Stat. § 120B.11). This overview outlines the changes that will take effect in the 2016-2017 school year. Email the World’s Best Workforce staff with questions about the WBWF legislation.

Staff Development

Districts are no longer required to provide a staff development report to the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE). Instead, reporting of staff development activities and progress toward staff development goals will be done locally through the WBWF Annual Report that is published on the district website but is not submitted to MDE.

Districts have two options to meet the reporting requirement this year:

Option 1: Report through the Staff Development Report web page, as has been done in the past, then download the Full District Report and the School Staff Development Goals, Designs or Strategies and Findings report under Final Reports > Preview Final Report and include them as part of your WBWF Annual Report. In addition, districts will report the percentage of teachers and other staff who participated in effective staff development activities. This option will only be available this year. The Staff Development Report web page will remain open until December 5, 2016.

Option 2: Complete the staff development report using the guidance in the Staff Development Report Planning Tool found on the World’s Best Workforce web page.

For questions related to staff development reporting, contact Michael Foster.

Q Comp

Sites that participate in Alternative Teacher Professional Pay System, or Q Comp, must continue to report on the implementation and effectiveness of the system and make annual recommendations to the school board by June 15; however, they no longer need to submit an annual report to MDE. To support local Q Comp reporting, an optional template will be published on the WBWF website this fall. Q Comp districts are also no longer required to have an Educational Improvement Plan to participate in Q Comp; the existing WBWF plan replaces that requirement.

Additional support for Q Comp and contact information can be found on the Q Comp webpage.

Gifted and Talented

Districts and charter schools are now required to include information about three areas of their gifted and talented programs within their WBWF plans.

Process to Assess and Identify Students for Participation in Gifted and Talented Programs

All local district WBWF plans must now include the process used to assess and identify students for participation in gifted and talented programs including: (1) multiple and objective criteria; and, (2) assessments and procedures that are valid and reliable, fair, and based on current theory and research. Assessments and procedures should be sensitive to underrepresented groups, including, but not limited to, low-income, minority, twice-exceptional, and English learners.

Acceleration

All local WBWF plans must now include the procedures used for the academic acceleration of gifted and talented students. These procedures must include how the district will: (1) assess a student's readiness and motivation for acceleration; and, (2) match the level, complexity, and pace of the curriculum to a student to achieve the best type of academic acceleration for that student.

Early Admission to Kindergarten and First Grade

All local WBWF plans must now include a procedure for early admission to kindergarten and first grade, consistent with section 124D.02, subdivision 1. The procedure should be sensitive to underrepresented groups and include the evaluation of cognitive, social, and emotional development domains to help determine the child’s ability to meet expectations and progress in the subsequent year.

These are not new requirements for districts. Instead, these existing processes are included as part of local WBWF plans (not submitted to MDE).

Additional information about gifted and talented programs and contact information can be found on the Gifted Education webpage.

Access to Excellent and Diverse Teachers

Equitable Teacher Distribution

Local WBWF plans must now include a process to examine the equitable distribution of teachers and strategies to ensure low-income and minority children are not taught by inexperienced, ineffective, or out-of-field teachers at higher rates than other children. Beginning in 2016, the WBWF summary template form that districts submit to the commissioner will include a section on the district process used to examine equitable teacher distribution data based on experience and qualifications.

Access to Diverse Teachers

Local WBWF plans must include a system to periodically review and evaluate students' access to effective teachers who are members of populations underrepresented among the licensed teachers in the district or school, and who reflect the diversity of enrolled students under section 120B.35, subdivision 3(b)(2).

District Advisory Committee

The district advisory committee has been an existing requirement of WBWF. This advisory committee recommends to the school board academic standards, student achievement goals and measures, and district assessments. There is a new requirement that the district advisory committee also make recommendations about the means to improve students’ equitable access to effective and more diverse teachers.

Email the World’s Best Workforce staff with questions related to the new provisions on access to excellent and diverse teachers.

Assessments Advisory Committee:

Minnesota Statutes, section 120B.304 was amended to include the following:

A school district that does not have an agreement between the school board and the exclusive representative of the teachers about selecting assessments must establish a district assessment committee to advise the school board on administering standardized assessments to students in addition to the assessments required under section 120B.30 and applicable federal law unless paragraph (b) applies. The committee must include an equal number of teachers and administrators and at least one parent of a student in the district and may include at least one representative from each school site in the district.

(b) A school district may seek this assessment advice from the district advisory committee under section 120B.11, subdivision 3, instead of establishing a committee under this section.

This committee is in place to provide advice to the school board in the areas of assessment described in the above law.

Even if a school or district adheres to 120B.301(a) “Limits on Local Testing”, if there is not an agreement between the school board and the exclusive representative of the teachers about selecting assessments, the district must adhere to the advisory committee requirements in 120B.304 or seek advice from the district advisory committee under 120B.11, subdivision 3.

Contact MDE’s testing division with questions.

Early Learning

School Readiness

Minnesota Statutes, section 124D.15, subdivision 3(a) has been amended to include the biennial School Readiness Plan in the district’s WBWF plan under section 120B.11, including a description of how the school readiness program meets the requirements under subdivision 3. This plan is not submitted to MDE.

The following guidance is available on our website on writing WBWF plans and goals in the area of school readiness.

Contact our Early Learning Services staff with questions related to school readiness.

Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten

Districts or charter schools participating in the voluntary pre-kindergarten program must include their strategy for implementing and measuring the impact of their voluntary pre-kindergarten program in the local WBWF plan and provide results in their WBWF annual summary that is submitted to the commissioner of education (section 120B.11).

The 2015-2016 summary template that districts use to report by December 1, 2016, will not include voluntary pre-kindergarten. Voluntary pre-kindergarten program reporting will be part of the 2016-2017 template (next year’s repot).

Additional information and contact information can be found on the Voluntary Prekindergarten website.

Charter Schools

Minnesota Statutes, section 124E.10, subdivision 1, related to charter school contracts was amended to include WBWF outcomes. A charter school must design its program to at least meet the outcomes adopted by the commissioner for public school students, including the WBWF goals under section 120B.11, subdivision 1.

Contact MDE’s Charter School staff with questions.

District Advisory Committee School Site Team

Subdivision 4 of the WBWF legislation related to school site teams was amended. Schools must now establish a site team to develop and implement strategies and education effectiveness practices to improve instruction, curriculum, cultural competencies (including cultural awareness and cross-cultural communication), and student achievement at the school site. Prior to 2016, this was optional. In addition, the site team must include an equal number of teachers and administrators and at least one parent.

Email the World’s Best Workforce staff with questions on school site teams.