287 East Sixth Street
Saint Paul, Minnesota 55101
ADVISORY BOARD MEMBERS
Sandy Vargas, Board Chair, President and CEO, The Minneapolis Foundation
Michael Ciresi, Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi Foundation
Alex Cirillo, Former vice president, 3M Community Affairs and 3M Foundation
Frank Forsberg, Senior vice president, systems change & innovation, Greater Twin Cities United Way
Kris Fortman, Foundation manager, The Medtronic Foundation
Vernae Hasbargen, Former trustee, Blandin Foundation
Virginia Hubbard Morris, President, Hubbard Radio
Ann Mulholland, Vice president of grants and program, Minnesota Philanthropy Partners
Father Michael O'Connell, Pastor, Church of the Ascension
Tim Penny, President and CEO, Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation
Tad Piper, Former chairman and CEO, Piper Jaffray & Co.
Al Quie, Former governor, State of Minnesota
Ben Whitney, Managing partner, Gideon Hixon
For decades, Minnesota’s school system has been a consistent model of achievement. Regularly ranking in the country’s top ten, Minnesota is by tradition a center for educational innovation, from the first teacher-training school west of the Mississippi founded in Winona in 1858, to the nation's first charter school founded in St. Paul in 1992.
But in recent years, the reach of these innovations has grown smaller and smaller. While the state’s demographics are evolving rapidly, the kids in the greatest need of a good education are not getting one. Minnesota schools are home to some of the largest achievement gaps in the country. On the 2009 Nation's Report Card, Minnesota had the second-largest achievement gap, a whopping 32 points, between black male and white male 8th-graders in reading.
At a time when innovation in education is needed more than ever, politics as usual is getting in the way of creating solutions for the students who haven’t benefited from the historic success of Minnesota’s educational system.
And yet, Minnesotans are known for the very traits that give rise to meaningful change. Ours is a state characterized by high levels of civic engagement and pride in public services. Ours is a state of superlatives. Public school quality shouldn’t be any different, and we believe that Minnesotans—galvanized by the facts and inspired to demand commonsense reforms—will lead a charge for great schools for all kids, regardless of where they live, the color of their skin or how much money their parents earn.
Since 2011, MinnCAN has emerged as the state’s pioneering education reform advocacy group, using high-caliber research and expert communications to secure major policy wins for Minnesota’s kids around fundamental issues like early childhood education, teacher effectiveness, principal evaluations and alternative routes to certification. All told, we’ve celebrated six major school reform policy victories in 2011 and 2012.
Earlier this year, MinnCAN announced its 2013 campaign to increase access to high-quality pre-K programs, help great charter schools thrive and redesign the way Minnesota retains and rewards excellent teachers. Learn more here.
MinneMinds, Stronger Charter Schools and Great Teachers
Building on the incredible momentum from last year’s policy victories, MinnCAN is pursuing three key areas of school reform in 2013: high-quality pre-K, strong charter schools and great teachers. Click on the images below to learn more about our efforts.