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Applicants needed for education task forces

The Minnesota Department of Education is seeking applicants for a number of new task forces that will be convened to address critical issues like adult education, career pathways and technical education, teacher licensure, and special education.

"The input we received from previous task forces played an invaluable role in shaping the legislation passed during the 2013 session," Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius said. "I am always in awe of the deep commitment to education Minnesotans have and encourage anyone interested in being a part of these task forces to apply."

Task forces currently seeking applicants are:

Standard Adult High School Diploma Advisory Task Force - a nine-member advisory task force to recommend program requirements for adult basic education programs of instruction leading to an adult high school diploma. Commissioner Cassellius will appoint:

One employee of the Department of Education with expertise in adult basic education;

Five administrators and teachers with expertise in development of education curriculum from local adult basic education programs located in rural, suburban and urban areas of the state, at least one of whom represents the Literacy Action network;

One employee of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities with expertise in adult basic education;

One employee of the Department of Employment and Economic Development with expertise in adult basic education and employment; and

One member of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce familiar with adult basic education programs under Minnesota Statutes, section 124D.52.

Career Pathways and Technical Education Task Force - a 21-member advisory task force that will offer recommendations on how to structurally redesign secondary and postsecondary education. Five people will be appointed by Commissioner Cassellius for this group, including:

Four people who have expertise in the preparation and transition from K-12 to higher education.

Teacher Licensure Advisory Task Force - a 20-member advisory task force established to make recommendations to the Minnesota Board of Teaching, the education commissioner, and the education committees of the legislature on requirements for teacher applicants to demonstrate mastery of reading, writing and mathematics skills through nationally normed assessments, a professional skills portfolio, or accredited college coursework, among other methods of demonstrating skills mastery; and an alternative licensure pathway for nonnative English speakers seeking licensure to teach in a language immersion program. Commissioner Cassellius will appoint:

Two representatives from the Department of Education.

Special Education Case Load Task Force - an advisory task force of at least 10 individuals who will develop recommendations for the appropriate numbers of students with disabilities that may be assigned to a teacher both with and without paraprofessional support in the classroom, and for cost-effective and efficient strategies and structures for improving student outcomes. Commissioner Cassellius will appoint:

At least 10 people who offer equal representation from school districts, including special education teachers and advocacy organizations, including parents of children with disabilities.

Applications and details about required qualifications for serving on the task forces can be found on the Secretary of State's website and must be submitted by July 23, 2013.