Blueprint for Education Policy Reform: Achieving world-class education and closing the achievement gaps

To compete in a global economy that prizes innovation and rewards higher-level skills, Minnesota must transform its approach to raising student achievement and closing the achivement gaps.

In 2008, the Minnesota Business Partnership, the Itasca Project, the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce and the Bush Foundation established the Minnesota’s Future Initiative and asked McKinsey & Company to answer two questions.

  1. How does Minnesota’s K-12 education system compare with the best in the world?
  2. What can we learn from the top-performing systems to deliver a better education to Minnesota students?

McKinsey’s report. “World-class Schools, World-class Jobs,” revealed that in many ways Minnesota’s education system matches up with best in the world. “The state has implemented rigorous standards, led the U.S. in providing educational choices for parents and has equitably invested in education,” the report said.

But the research, however, indicated that improvements were needed in the following areas for Minnesota to compete with the world’s top-performing systems:

  • Teacher preparation
  • Recruiting top talent and innovation
  • School leadership development
  • Using data to drive performance improvement

As active advocates for strengthening Minnesota’s education system for more than 30 years, the Minnesota Business Partnership has been guided by four Principles for Education Reform:

  • Set rigorous, world-class academic standards for all students.
  • Measure and report student progress – individually and by school – on a uniform and comparable basis.
  • Give educators flexibility to offer the programs they believe will be the most effective for their students.
  • Provide families with the ability to choose the programs that best meet their children’s academic needs.

For more information, contact Education and Workforce Development Policy Director Amy Walstien.