Counting all Students

Why does the state collect data on individual students?

One way the Minnesota Department of Education currently gathers information on students is through the Minnesota Automated Reporting Student System (MARSS) Web Edit System (WES). MARSS is our primary reporting system for collecting individual student data from districts. The information collected is used to compile student counts and average daily membership (ADM), which helps us calculate how much funding each district receives. The secure system also collects student demographics as well as some of the programs students participate in.

What’s changing?

New legislation requires the Minnesota Department of Education to report graduation rates, results of the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCAs), and more, by detailed ethnicity for students of color and American Indian students. This legislation is referred to as the “All Kids Count Act,” and the more detailed reporting is called data disaggregation. Read the full text of the legislation: Minnesota Statutes, sections 120B.31 subd. 3a and 120B.35 subd. 3.

What information are these data intended to provide?

  • Where do ethnic disparities exist inside racial groups in areas such as graduation rates and MCA scores?
  • What additional information is available when we provide reports and comparisons with more detail beyond the minimum federally reporting requirement?

How can we provide more targeted help to districts for the students who need it?

  • We can create policies and develop strategies to improve educational opportunities for students in specific areas.
  • We can use the data to inform legislators about opportunity gaps that exist that can be addressed in legislation.

Is my district involved?

During the 2018-19 school year, we will be working with five partner school districts or charter schools to develop best practices: Community of Peace Academy, Minnetonka Public Schools, Schoolcraft Learning Community, St. Paul Public Schools, and Worthington Public Schools. All Minnesota districts and charter schools will be included in the statewide implementation in the 2019-20 school year.

What if I have concerns?

The most important thing to remember is that providing this information is optional. You are not required to provide it; however, as stated above, we are hoping to identify gaps in opportunities experienced by some students so we can work toward full equity among all students. We cannot do this without your help.

We understand the concerns held by a number of Minnesota communities about this law. We realize you have questions and may worry the data being collected could be misused or used against you. We will do our best to answer questions and address your concerns as we move through the implementation process.

If you have questions about how the Counting All Students will affect you, please contact the Minnesota Department of Education.

Counting All Students Update Newsletter

A great way to stay informed about the process of implementing Counting All Students is through our newsletter. The newsletter will include important updates, engagement opportunities and more. Subscribe now.
Counting All Students Update - May 31, 2018

Stakeholder Meetings

  • Stakeholder update meeting: Thursday, June 21, at 5:30-7 p.m. at the MDE office in Roseville. During this meeting, staff will provide an update of activities related to efforts to implement Counting All Students. Register to attend.
  • Stakeholder feedback sessions: Monday, July 9, and Monday, July 16, 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the MDE office in Roseville. During these meetings, MDE will be seeking stakeholder feedback in order to further refine the sample detailed demographics collection form, parent letter, and frequently asked questions documents. The feedback gathered during these sessions will inform the revisions to the documents to be used during the 2019-20 school year statewide implementation. Information and registration will soon be available on MDE’s calendar page.

  •  - 5/23/18
  •  - 5/23/18

Translated Documents