For Immediate Release
Contact: Dale Wetzel, Public Information Specialist
Baesler Seeks Public Comment On New Academic Standards
BISMARCK, N.D., May 9, 2018 – State Superintendent Kirsten Baesler is inviting North Dakotans to comment on the first drafts of new North Dakota academic standards for health, science, arts and early learning.
Since January, separate groups of North Dakota educators have been writing new standards for each of the four subject areas. The Department of Public Instruction is asking North Dakotans to review the standards and offer their thoughts on whether specific standards should be kept, revised or deleted. Commenters are encouraged to give their opinions by May 25.
Baesler said the standards’ writing committees will take public comments into account when they resume their work. The standards will also undergo separate reviews by citizen committees that have expressed interest in scrutinizing them.
“These standards are what North Dakota educators are going to be using when they teach early learning, arts, health and science,” Baesler said Wednesday. “For the sake of openness and transparency, it is important that North Dakota parents and taxpayers have ample opportunity to examine them, suggest improvements, and register any objections that they have.”
The first draft of the arts standards are divided into five subjects: media arts, visual arts, theater, music and dance. The health, science and early learning standards are included in their own single documents. The Department of Public Instruction’s website also has links to public comment surveys for arts, early learning, health and science. All survey responses are anonymous.
Rob Bauer, the NDDPI director of assessments, said the standards writing committees want to see “any and all comments regarding the breadth, depth, balance and integrity” of the proposed standards.
The NDDPI and the North Central Comprehensive Center at McREL, a nationally recognized technical assistance center based in Denver, have developed a web-based survey tool to make it as easy as possible for North Dakotans to comment on specific standards, Bauer said.
The standards writing committees expect to offer the second drafts of their work for another round of public comment in July. A third, and possibly final, draft of the standards should be completed by August, Bauer said.