The North Dakota Joint Boards of Education met at the State Capitol on Feb. 19 to review college and career readiness, data, assessments and standards, as well as discuss its future focus. The Joint Boards of Education is a legislatively mandated body comprised of the State Board of Career and Technical Education, the Education Standards and Practices Board, the State Board of Higher Education and the Dept. of Public Instruction.
The meeting began with a review of the working plan to increase college and career readiness by moving remediation to the 12th grade and increasing work opportunities for students, among other things. The Boards also heard presentations regarding the State Longitudinal Data System, the legally required state assessments and the adoption of the state standards.
“It is critical that we develop and use the business and industry resources that we have available in our state to expand the use of work experiences and partnerships to further prepare high school and college students to be truly career ready,” said Wayne Kutzer, Director and Executive Officer of the Department for Career and Technical Education.
The morning also included an awards ceremony recognizing students, schools and businesses that promote college and career readiness. The College and Career Readiness Awards were given out as part of an initiative from ACT, Inc. and the Department of Public Instruction. North Dakota State College of Science (NDSCS) was recognized as the top community college in North Dakota for their efforts in preparing students for careers. NDSCS will go on to compete against community colleges across the country for the national title.
“Our College and Career Readiness Award recipients epitomize the best North Dakota has to offer,” Kirsten Baesler, State Superintendent of Public Instruction said. “It’s important we continue these partnerships among K-12 schools, Higher Education and workforce for the benefit of our students and our state.”
The main goal for the meeting was to determine the direction and focus for the Joint Boards going forward. With the priorities set forth in 2006 by the P-16 (preschool through college) Education Task Force as a guide, the Joint Boards discussed whether they wanted to maintain those priorities and what role the Joint Boards should fill in setting goals and strategies for education in North Dakota. The consensus was that the main goal of Joint Boards was to prepare students to take their next step, whether it is to middle school, high school or college, and improve their probability of success.
To accomplish this goal, the Joint Boards determined three priorities: transition between the different educational levels (elementary to middle school, high school to college, etc.), alignment of curriculum from K-12 through higher education, and the factors included in the college admissions index. The members of the Joint Boards will now present these priorities to their own organizations/boards, as well as to other North Dakota educational initiative groups (2020 & Beyond and Succeed 2020) and bring feedback to the next Joint Boards meeting.
“It is very important that all these entities – the Joint Boards, Dept. of Commerce, and Succeed 2020 – be informing each other,” said North Dakota University System Interim Chancellor Larry C. Skogen. “If we are able to collaborate, we can find the best way to accomplish our goals and, ultimately, help our students succeed.”
The Joint Boards of Education agreed to meet quarterly. The next meeting will be held in June.
Pictured (left to right): Chief Justice VandeWalle poses with ACT award winners: a representative from Hess Corporation, President John Richman from NDSCS, Sam Lim from Fargo North High School, and three representatives from Carrington High School.