Education | Prairie Public Broadcasting


Family Engagement Council meets

May 24, 2019
Dale Wetzel / DPI

An expert on encouraging family engagement in schools believes schools need to do a better job in engaging parents to be involved in their children’s education.

Dr. Steve Constantino was in Bismarck to speak to the first meeting of School Superintendent Kirsten Baesler’s Family Engagement Cabinet.

Constantino said families have seen better outcomes, when they’re involved with the schools. But he said it will take some changes in mind-set. For example, Constantino said some schools equate engagement to attendance at events.

A consultant to the Department of Public Instruction’s statewide k-12 “visioning process” says North Dakota does well in terms of providing education – but there is some room for improvement.  

Martha Taylor Greenway is the president of Greenway Strategy Group. She said she’s working with a group of educational leaders chosen by DPI – and the group is working on a “strategic plan” for K-12 education.

Greenway said the group is looking for a shared vision – to make sure all students are “choice ready.”

A new survey of North Dakota schools shows schools place a high importance on the “regional educational associations,” or REAs.

The study was done by the North Dakota Council of Educational Leaders. Council executive director Aimee Copas presented the results to the Legislature's  interim Education Policy Committee.  Copas said the survey showed schools believe the REAs are a critical component for the state’s educational system.

Darcy Bakkegard / Prairie Public

A philanthropist who has been working on school reinvention and reform said North Dakota is uniquely positioned to be a leader in helping students prepare for new jobs and careers that will be created in the near future.

Ted Dintersmith is an author – whose book “Most Likely To Succeed” – has been made into a film. Dintersmith was in Bismarck to speak to the Department of Public Instruction’s Fall Education Conference. He was on a panel to discuss education innovation with Gov. Doug Burgum and state school superintendent Kirsten Baesler.

ND working on the dropout issue

Oct 12, 2017

Officials with the state’s Department of Public Instruction say North Dakota is doing well in terms of the number of students who finish high school on time.

"Our overall graduation rate is staying fairly stagnant," said Joe Kolosky, the Department of Public Instruction's deputy director of the Office of School Approval and Opportunity. "It's increased about .10 percent in the last four years."

Kolosky said the on-time high school graduation rate is right around 90 percent.

"Succeed 2020" called a success

Oct 3, 2017

In 2011, the Hess Corporation donated $25 million to North Dakota for a program dubbed “Succeed 2020.”

"It's a statewide program, aimed at helping North Dakota students be ready for college and careers," said Louise Dardis, the manager of the Succeed 2020 program.

Dardis said says the goals of the five-year program were very ambitious.

"A successful transition from school to college and careers for all North Dakota students," Dardis told Bismarck reporters. "And I stress -- all North Dakota students."

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

State school superintendent Kirsten Baesler has launched a new “strategic visioning process” – with a goal of strengthening public education in North Dakota.

Baesler said this will involve various state educational agencies and education groups.

"There are a lot of things going on right now in North Dakota," Baesler said. "Each agency is working very hard."

But Baesler said right now,the agencies are going in their own direction.

Burgum starting education innovation task force

Sep 13, 2017
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

Gov. Doug Burgum is creating a task force on Innovation in Education.

Burgum said the current educational system – which has been in place for generations – is at a crossroads.

"The traditional model, which was a 'one-to-many,' classroom-focused, book-centric approach is not really reflective of the tools we have available in the 21st century," Burgum told reporters. "That's not the most effective approach."

Burgum said the task force will look at ways schools can turn out students who are problem solvers. He said it will consist of 11 to 15 members.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

More than 150 teachers from across North Dakota gathered at Bismarck's Legacy High School for a "hands-on" training session.

The session was sponsored by the National Math and Science Initiative. It was designed to give teachers some real world exercises they could use in their classrooms.

In one classroom at Legacy, teachers were asked to make boxes out of paper and adhesive tape. The goal: to estimate the volume of material the box could hold.

'Innovative Education' summit held in Bismarck

Jun 9, 2017
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

Teachers, principals, school board members, legislators and business-people met in Bismarck for the “Governor’s Summit on Innovate Education.”

The summit was called to look at new and different ways to provide education to school age children. Burgum has said schools have to think outside the traditional 50-minute period, teachers-lecturing and standardized test taking.