Education groups tout "innovation bill" | Prairie Public Broadcasting

Education groups tout "innovation bill"

Feb 17, 2017

State school superintendent Kirsten Baesler (at lectern), plus legislators and education group leaders at a state Capitol news conference 2-16-17.
Credit Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

Lawmakers are considering a bill allowing school districts to adopt new and innovative teaching techniques.

It has unanimously passed the Senate – and now awaits House approval. It would require school districts to develop plans with teacher and public input, and submit their ideas to the Department of Public Instruction for approval.

"It will give local schools the ability to develop innovative education ideas, without being confined to the Industrial Age education system of the past," State Superintendent of Public Instruction Kirsten Baesler told Capitol reporters. "That system teaches students in a 'one-size-fits-all' model."

Sen. Nichole Poolman (R-Bismarck) is the primary sponsor. She teaches English at Bismarck High School.

"I've moved away from taching information," Poolman said. "Now I must focus on teaching kids how to process and evaluate information. I focus much less on what to learn, and much more on how to be a good learner. This is an essential skill in a society changing as rapidly as we are. Our schools need the flexibility to change, too."

The bill will be next heard in the House Education Committee.