Baesler To Update Members of Congress on Education Law Progress

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For Immediate Release
Contact: Dale Wetzel, Public Information Specialist
Office 701-328-2247
Cell: 701-400-8557
Baesler To Update Members of Congress on Education Law Progress

WASHINGTON, D.C., Oct. 2, 2017 – State Superintendent Kirsten Baesler was scheduled to brief members of Congress, reporters and representatives of education groups on Monday about North Dakota’s progress in implementing the Every Student Succeeds Act.

“Congress plays an important role in providing resources and oversight for education, and we welcome the opportunity to show how allowing states flexibility in delivering education will benefit students, teachers, and taxpayers alike,” Baesler said in remarks prepared for delivery at a Washington, D.C., panel discussion organized by the Council of Chief State School Officers.

The U.S. Education Department approved North Dakota’s plan for implementing the federal ESSA law on Sept. 1. The plan includes the creation of an “education dashboard” to provide readily accessible school information to parents, schools and communities, and a set of “Choice Ready” criteria for  determining whether a student is best prepared for success after high school.

Baesler said the plan promotes academic improvement in all North Dakota schools. “Even our high-performing schools must submit a school improvement plan,” Baesler said. “This affects all schools, every year. Our students deserve no less.”

The panel discussion is scheduled Monday afternoon in the Hart Senate Office Building in Washington. It is scheduled to include Baesler and top state education administrators from Connecticut, Louisiana and Pennsylvania.

Baesler said the Every Student Succeeds Act includes much greater leeway in state and local education planning than did its predecessor, No Child Left Behind, which ranked schools according to test scores and high school graduation rates. ESSA allows states much more latitude in designing criteria for measuring school quality, Baesler said.

The superintendent has named nine committees of citizens to oversee the implementation of ESSA and suggest improvements to North Dakota’s plan. The committees are reviewing topics such as innovative learning techniques, school improvement, student engagement and teacher and administrator effectiveness.

“The Education Department has approved our plan, but our work is just beginning,” Baesler said. “We realize the most important piece lies ahead of us, and that is our implementation.”