Kirsten Baesler, the North Dakota Superintendent of Public Instruction, announced today that she is directing that North Dakota’s math and English language arts standards be rewritten and improved. North Dakota adopted the Common Core State Standards as their math and ELA standards and the rewrite will be based on Common Core.
So just to be clear here, this is not a repeal, and it is being set up to be a rebrand.
The process will include the appointment of two committees, made up of North Dakota educators, to write the new math and English standards, Baesler said.
Three additional review committees, made up of elected leaders, business and industry leaders, and parents and citizens, will also be chosen to review the work of the standards-writing committees and to suggest changes.
Beginning Friday, Baesler will begin taking applications for the two committees that will update and improve North Dakota’s existing math and English standards, which are based on the Common Core. The writing committees will include elementary, middle, high school and university teachers.
“We will be producing a superior set of North Dakota standards for our public schools, written by North Dakota teachers, that establish clear and high expectations for North Dakota students,” she said.
Baesler encouraged anyone who wants to be considered for the writing or review committees to apply. An application form will be posted on the Department of Public Instruction’s website this Friday, May 6. The application deadline is June 1.
Once the math and English writing committees complete their first draft of the standards, their work will be presented to the three review committees. Afterwards, the draft standards will be open for public comment for about four weeks, Baesler said.
The comments will be part of the work of the writing committees as they prepare the second draft of the standards. After the second draft is finished, the review committees will take another look and more public comment will be collected.
Once the second round of public comment is finished, the writing committees will then finish their work and present a final draft in early 2017.
Once the new North Dakota math and English standards are completed, a state test that is aligned to the new North Dakota standards in math and English will be selected.
It is unfortunate that Baesler wasn’t open to starting with a blank slate. How these new standards turn out and how closely the resemble Common Core will be largely based on who gets to be on the review committees which of course she entirely controls.