BISMARCK, N.D., May 10, 2022 – State School Superintendent Kirsten Baesler said North Dakota educators will begin drafting new learning standards for mathematics and English Language Arts/Literacy for the state’s K-12 students this summer.
The Department of Public Instruction invites North Dakota educators who want to be part of the standards-writing process to visit the K-12 Education Content Standards page on NDDPI’s website. Applications are posted under the English Language Arts/Literacy and Mathematics K-12 menus. Completed applications must be emailed to email@example.com by May 31.
The standards provide a framework for what North Dakota students should know and be able to do at specific points during their progress through the K-12 education system. They were last updated in 2017. The standards are typically reviewed every five to seven years, Baesler said.
North Dakota schools use the standards to shape their curricula. Generally, content standards outline what students should learn by the end of a school year, while the curriculum is a more detailed, day-to-day plan and resources for teaching that knowledge. Each school district’s school board, administrators, and teachers control the curriculum development process.
Separate committees will write mathematics and English Language Arts/Literacy standards. During the 2017 updates for the two sets of standards, 38 educators were part of the mathematics standards team, while the English Language Arts/Literacy team had 33 educators. The writing committees included educators from all grade levels, school sizes, and geographic areas of North Dakota.
The newly formed committees will analyze North Dakota’s current English and mathematics standards, review results from a North Dakota teachers’ survey about them, and examine information from outside experts. The initial draft of the updated standards will be advertised for public comment, and a Content Standards Review Committee made up of parents, business people, and the general public will examine the draft. The review committee’s members will be chosen later.
“Our North Dakota Constitution requires the state to provide a uniform system of free public schools across the state,” Baesler said. “Our state academic content standards provide a common reference for student learning while leaving instructional control in the hands of our locally-elected school boards, administrators, and educators.”
North Dakota’s superintendent of public instruction regularly revises the state’s learning standards by direction of the state Legislature, which lists supervision of the “development of course content standards” among the office’s duties. (NDCC 15.1-02-04 (3)).
A separate educator committee is updating North Dakota’s Library and Technology Standards and soliciting public comments about them. The initial draft of the updated library and technology standards is posted on the Department of Public Instruction’s website. They were last revised in 2012.