Community to Reimagine Education at Dec. 5 Convening

Hundreds will gather to learn about a new report on closing gaps in education and discuss ways to take collective action.

What if all children in Minnesota—regardless of their race, poverty status or ZIP code—had access to an excellent education? What if that education created a foundation upon which they were all poised to reach their fullest potential?

That vision is the driving force behind Reimagine Education, an upcoming convening at which hundreds of school leaders, educators, policy influencers, funders and changemakers will gather to discuss what is—and isn’t—working in Minnesota’s schools and learn about a new research report that reveals the evidence basis for key levers to closing opportunity gaps in K-12 education.

Reimagine Education, which is hosted by The Minneapolis Foundation, Greater Twin Cities United Way, and the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation, will be held at the Minneapolis Convention Center from 7:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Dec. 5.

The event is free and open to the public, but advance registration is required. Register here.

“The Reimagine Education report emerged from a coalition of metropolitan school superintendents and community members, including 1,500 students,” said R.T. Rybak, President and CEO of The Minneapolis Foundation. “It represents a unique opportunity to hear the viewpoints of those on the ground in the schools, enhanced by research from the University of Minnesota’s top education experts. This unique, powerful coalition has come together at a pivotal time, and we invite everyone to come to the event to make their vision for improving education even better.”

At the convening, researchers will unveil the findings of “Expanding the Vision of Reimagine Minnesota: A Collective Education Roadmap for Action,” a new report commissioned by the hosts of Reimagine Minnesota and produced by the University of Minnesota’s College of Education and Human Development.

The report builds on a body of work that has been led since 2016 by school superintendents with the Association of Metropolitan School Districts, with intensive input from students, parents, cultural representatives, business leaders and other community members. Their voices informed a report issued by the superintendents in 2018 called “Reimagine Minnesota: A Collective Education Roadmap for Action.” The new University of Minnesota report expands on the superintendents’ work by providing overviews of current research and practical recommendations for collective action to ensure that all students receive an equitable, integrated and excellent education.

“This is an important report that brings together the voices of the broadest levels of community, and unites many organizations in a coherent effort to improve our educational system,” said Eric Jolly, President and CEO of the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation. “The power of the United Way, The Minneapolis Foundation and the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation coming together with principals, superintendents and leaders in educational research is exciting. Together we can change outcomes for all Minnesotan students.”

“Our vision for education at Greater Twin Cities United Way is ‘all children and youth are ready to thrive academically, personally and socially,’” said John Wilgers, President and CEO of Greater Twin Cities United Way. “Through the report findings and in partnership with our education leaders, The Minneapolis Foundation and the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation, we will more effectively address educational opportunity gaps to ensure young people can thrive with the skills to direct their own futures, and ultimately, the vitality of our region’s economy and future workforce.”

Reimagine Education will feature a keynote address from Dr. Michael Rodriguez, an associate dean at the University of Minnesota’s College of Education and Human Development, as well as a panel discussion with metro area school superintendents. Student leaders from The Student Conference—a convening of 1,500 students from across the who gathered in October to share their views on what schools should look like in 2030—will highlight the student perspective to set the stage for the morning. The full agenda can be found here.