First Draft of New Math, English Standards

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For Immediate Release
July 28, 2016
Contact: Dale Wetzel, Public Information Specialist
Office 701-328-2247
Cell: 701-400-8557

BISMARCK, N.D., July 28, 2016 – State Superintendent Kirsten Baesler said two groups of North Dakota educators have almost completed their initial draft of new math and English content standards for the state’s public school classrooms.

Thirty-eight North Dakota math teaching experts and 33 English and language arts experts have been crafting improvements to the state’s present standards, Baesler said. The two committees include members from across the state, representing schools both large and small, rural and urban, the superintendent said.

Both the math and English standards committees are divided into four groups, covering grades kindergarten through 2, 3 through 5, 6 through 8 and 9 through 12.

The committees are meeting in Bismarck Thursday and Friday to finish the first drafts of North Dakota’s English and math standards. Once their work is completed, the drafts will be submitted to three separate review committees, made up of elected officials, business and industry leaders, and parents and citizens.

Once the review committees finish their examination, the proposed standards will be posted for public comment. The teachers who are writing the standards will consider the public comments and the work of the review committees in writing subsequent drafts.

The new standards will go through at least three drafts before they are completed in March or April of 2017. North Dakotans will have at least two opportunities to comment on the new standards, Baesler said.

The state’s present math and English standards were adopted in July 2011, after a nine-month review by committees of North Dakota math and English teachers and an independent analysis by the Department of Public Instruction. The standards are normally reviewed every five to seven years.

Baesler said the new math and English standards will take effect in North Dakota classrooms at the start of the 2017-18 school year.

The members of the standards committees applied for the positions, and their applications were formally reviewed and ranked. Teachers were asked to detail their experience in standards and curriculum development, outline the instructional strategies that they use in classrooms, and describe previous committee work. Candidates were required to include a letter of support from a supervisor.

Baesler said she did not know who applied and was not involved in the screening process.

“It was very formal, very much like applying for a job with the state of North Dakota,” Baesler said. “I wasn’t allowed to see who was applying, because that is not normally part of the procurement process.”

A list of the standards committee members is attached to this press release.