Since her appointment as Commissioner of Education in 2010, Dr. Brenda Cassellius has endeavored to enact comprehensive education reform that will benefit every child throughout Minnesota. Her straightforward, community-driven approach toward providing the best education possible has resulted in a remarkable list of accomplishments.
Under her leadership, the Minnesota Department of Education applied for and received a waiver from the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law, allowing for a better, fairer, more accurate and supportive accountability system. MDE was awarded a $45 million Race to the Top – Early Learning Challenge grant to further develop and strengthen early education efforts. The department was also awarded a $28.2 Federal Public Charter Schools grant to design and implement high-quality charter schools.
A respected educator throughout her profession and across partisan lines, Commissioner Cassellius was critical in passing new alternative licensure; principal and teacher evaluation laws; as well as increased funding for PK-12 education; legislation ensuring a sharp, statewide focus on every child reading well by 3rd grade; and expanded access to quality early childhood education. Her reputation as an innovative problem solver can be seen within MDE where Dr. Cassellius has worked with employees to examine every aspect of department operations to ensure the state is providing the best service possible for Minnesota families, educators and students.

Chris Stewart is the Chief Executive Officer of Education Post, a media project of the Results in Education Foundation. He is a lifelong activist and 20-year supporter of nonprofit and education-related causes. Stewart has served as the director of outreach and external affairs for Education Post, the executive director of the African American Leadership Forum (AALF), and an elected member of the Minneapolis Public Schools Board of Education.


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