The North Dakota State Superintendent of Public Instruction works to transform education in North Dakota by fostering a culture of success. Superintendent Kirsten Baesler drafts and communicates state education policy, and provides advice and assistance for school districts in interpreting and complying with state and federal laws and regulations that affect public education.

The superintendent’s duties include oversight of elementary and secondary education, school approval, development of content standards, and assessments of student progress. The superintendent regulates the credentialing of administrators, counselors, and other education specialists.  She is in charge of implementing a uniform system for accounting, budgeting, and reporting of school district data, and for publishing annual reports on school finance and employee compensation.

Through discernment and discussion, we’ve identified three core values that encompass who we are at NDDPI and how we serve the 120,000 children of our great state. We: 

  1. Build Relationships: We value meaningful stakeholder engagement at every level. Our belief is that building relationships enables long-term, sustainable progress.
  2. Cultivate Opportunity: We value the free and open exchange of ideas. Our role is to cultivate opportunities between partners to benefit our young people.
  3. Inspire Growth: We value inspiration and support over regulation. Our aim is to inspire and support our schools and communities as we challenge conventional standards.

In addition to the Department of Public Instruction, the superintendent oversees the State Library, the North Dakota School for the Deaf/Resource Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Devils Lake, and North Dakota Vision Services/School for the Blind in Grand Forks. An organizational chart of NDDPI can be found here.

The superintendent is a member of numerous state boards, including the Board of University & School Lands, the Teachers’ Fund for Retirement, the Education Standards and Practices Board, the Board for Career and Technical Education, and the state Educational Technology Council.

The superintendent is also a member of the board of directors for the North Dakota High School Activities Association and a member of the nominating committee for the Board of Higher Education.


Our vision is that all students will graduate choice ready with the knowledge, skills, and disposition to be successful.


NDDPI will partner with schools and communities to provide a statewide system of excellent service and support to ensure a healthy school environment that fosters student success.

2021-2023 Biennial Report