Latest Posts





Where is Edina Schools’ 2017-18 Annual Report, and why can’t we see it?

On April 26, I described the striking decline in accountability and transparency in the Edina Public Schools (EPS) over the last 15 years. I highlighted differences between EPS Annual Reports for 2003-04 and 2016-17.

The contrast evident there throws light on a troubling fact: In EPS’s recent survey of parents who have pulled their children and enrolled them in other public schools, the “most important factor” cited was EPS’s failure to “meet” their students’ “learning needs.” The second most important factor was lack of “personal attention by teachers.”

[See pp. 3-5 of the “outbound” survey results, which also include data from parents who transferred their children to private schools. See here for a Memo on the EPS 2018-19 Enrollment and Class Size Information Report, which was presented to the school board on October 23, 2018. Pages 3-6 of this memo are of particular interest and include details concerning where “outbound” students transferred. See here for the enrollment report itself.]

Source: Edina Public Schools website

The EPS 2003-04 Annual Report was 97 pages long and packed with facts, figures and tables detailing all aspects of students’ academic performance. The 2016-17 document, by contrast, was four pages long and read more like a promotional brochure. It barely touched on student performance, though it did acknowledge (if readers looked closely) that only about 65 percent of EPS students in grades 1 to 7 were meeting annual, nationally normed growth targets in reading, and about 63 percent were doing so in math.

Strangely, EPS’s Annual Report for 2017-18 is not available on the EPS website, though all other reports since 2003-04 are, at the time of this writing. However, I have located what appears to be a print copy of the report, which was mailed to Edina households. This most recent report is only a page-and-a-half long.

Unlike the report from a year before, the 2017-18 document includes no specific information at all about EPS students’ performance on the state MCA (Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment) tests in reading and math. It mentions only that “overall MCA data in EPS have remained consistent, with fluctuations up and down depending on grade level and student group.”

In fact, last year, EPS third-grade reading proficiency as measured by the MCA fell 8.5 percentage points, according to EPS’s “2017-18 World’s Best Workforce Results” report, dated October 29, 2018. (See the more detailed MDE report on these results here.) This is the largest drop in the years for which data are publicly available. But readers of the 2017-18 EPS Annual Report would have no idea of this worrisome decline.

I have requested of Mary Woitte, EPS communications coordinator, that the 2017-18 Annual Report be added to the district’s website so that readers can view it for themselves. This is the link to the web page where reports are made available.




Upcoming Events

  • Morning in Minnesota Breakfast Series: Winona

    Location: Signatures Restaurant, 22852 County Road 17, Winona, MN 55987

    Please join Center of the American Experiment Friday, March 6 at Signatures for a FREE breakfast with economist John Phelan.

    Register Now
  • Lunch Forum with Amity Shlaes

    Location: Hyatt Regency Minneapolis 1300 Nicollet Mall Minneapolis, MN 55403

    Buy tickets for March 2nd HERE. About This Event: Enjoy our Early Bird Ticket Special through February 23rd! After this date, ticket price will increase to $30. Doors open at 11:30 AM, program and lunch begin at Noon. In Great Society, the New York Times bestselling author of The Forgotten Man and Coolidgeoffers a stunning revision of our last great period of idealism, the 1960s, with burning relevance for our contemporary challenges. Today, a battle rages in our country. Many Americans are attracted to socialism and economic redistribution while opponents of those ideas argue for purer capitalism. In the 1960s, Americans…

    Register Now
  • 2020 Annual Dinner Featuring Sarah Huckabee Sanders

    Location: Minneapolis Convention Center Ballroom 1301 2nd Ave S Minneapolis, MN 55403

    American President: The Unorthodox Approach to Politics that Changed the World. Sarah Huckabee Sanders served as White House Press Secretary for President Donald J. Trump from 2017 to 2019. A trusted confidant of the President, Sanders advised him on everything from press and communications strategy to personnel and policy. For two and a half years, Sanders was at the President’s side, battling with the media, working with lawmakers and CEOs, and staffing the President on every foreign trip, including dozens of meetings with foreign leaders. Sanders is only the third woman and the first mother to hold the job of…

    Register Now