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Minnesota Early Learning Standards
Click on the MN Early Learning Standards PDF (below) to download a 68-page collection of early childhood indicators of progress. These indicators, provided by the Minnesota Department of Education, create a framework for understanding and communicating a common set of developmentally appropriate expectations for children in the preschool periods of ages three to five, presented within a context of shared responsibility and accountability for helping children meet these expectations. The responsibility for early childhood learning is shared by family members, teachers and caregivers, community members, and policymakers.

Indicators for early childhood learning standards are divided into six categories:
  • Social and Emotional Development
  • Approaches to Learning
  • Language and Literacy Development
  • Creativity and the Arts
  • Cognitive Development
  • Physical and Motor Development

Excerpt from the Introduction:
"A large and growing body of research supports the critical relationship between early childhood experiences and successful learning outcomes. The responsibility for providing support systems and resources that result in positive outcomes for young children is a shared one. Families, early childhood teachers and caregivers, community members, and policymakers all contribute to the wellbeing of children.

"The Early Childhood Indicators of Progress document recognizes the importance of this shared responsibility and accountability in order to achieve positive outcomes for children. This document stresses the importance of collective efforts among families, early childhood education and care, communities, and policymakers in supporting the learning and development of children. The efforts of each and every one of these groups are vital in the process of developing healthy, well-functioning children."

Ready 4 K
About Ready 4 K: "Our mission is to assure that every young child in Minnesota enters kindergarten encouraged, supported, and fully prepared for learning success. We are a nonprofit group of people who want to give our youngest citizens a strong start. We are community leaders, parents, early childhood professionals, and anyone else who wants to improve school readiness in Minnesota. We are a grassroots campaign committed to an early childhood public policy agenda based on a comprehensive, integrated and accountable system for supporting early childhood development and learning readiness."

Get Acrobat Reader  MN_Early_Learning_Stds.pdf  
Get Acrobat Reader  McKnight_Presentation.pdf  
Presentation made to the McKnight Foundation gathering of early childhood stakeholders, Nov. 30, 2010, by P. Fred Storti, MESPA Executive Director.
Get Acrobat Reader  ESEA_Reauthorization_Overview.pdf  
Overview of The Elementary and Secondary Education Reauthorization Act of 2011 (one page)
Get Acrobat Reader  Building_Aligned_System_of_Early_Learning.pdf  
Get Acrobat Reader  TIES__Personalized_Learning_Early_Childhood.pdf  


PreK-Grade 3 MN Wiki
Wiki site with Minnesota early ed. resources:
  • What is PreK-Grade 3?
  • Why PreK-Grade 3?
  • Resources
  • Early Education in MN

PreK-Grade 3 Leadership
"The impact of high-quality early learning experiences is well established, particularly for children at risk for underachievement. Yet by and large, communities, states, and their counties have made marginal strides in creating and supporting an infrastructure that provides all children and families with access to the crucial learning opportunities that are vital to our state and nations’ education, civic, and economic prosperity." MESPA Advocate September 2011

"When children come to kindergarten not ready to learn, not having been exposed to rich literary experiences and thus lacking conceptual development, they begin school with an experiential gap that is difficult to bridge...The time is now to move from disconnected early childhood programming and K-12 curriculum to PreK-grade3 alignment!"  MESPA Advocate May 2011

Excerpts from articles by P. Fred Storti, MESPA Executive Director

McKnight presentation
To download a presentation on "Building an Aligned System of Early Learning from PreK-Grade 3" made to McKnight Foundation early childhood stakeholders (Nov. 30, 2010) by MESPA Executive P. Fred Storti, scroll down. The presentation includes next steps and considerations.

Status of MN Early Education Programs
How can we better connect with early childhood programs for three and four-year-olds and expand all-day every day kindergarten?

During the first two weeks of December 2010, we asked MESPA members what early childhood programs currently exist in their schools and districts. For a summary and analysis of survey results, visit MN Legislative Issues in the Members Only section of our site.

ESEA Reauthorization, 2011
To compete in the global economy, ensure America’s long-term prosperity, and protect our middle class, America needs to provide every child with a world-class education.  The Elementary and Secondary Education Reauthorization Act will set high expectations for all children to graduate from high school with the knowledge and skills needed for success in college and careers, support teachers and principals to help them provide high-quality instruction, ensure disadvantaged students get their fair share of resources, focus federal attention on turning around low-performing schools and closing achievement gaps, and remove federal barriers to give states and communities the flexibility they need to innovate.

To download an ESEA Reauthorization overview, scroll to the left.