What the New Federal Education Law Means for North Dakota

A new federal education law signed by President Obama is giving states more control over their educational guidelines.

Local and state education officials say the new law replacing the No Child Left Behind act is a step in the right direction for quality education.
The new law is allowing schools to measure success on more than just graduation rates.

It is giving states the flexibility to create their own standards for education, based on more than just data results.
“Those are important things to measure, but we in North Dakota have known for a long time that there is so many other things that we know go into a quality education, and a quality school system,” said Kirsten Baesler, North Dakota Superintendent of Schools.
Over the next 18 months, North Dakota education officials will be writing the “new state accountability” plan.

Fargo Superintendent Jeffrey Schatz says one thing he is hoping for is more quality over quantity approach for measuring success.
“That’s a critical path that kids travel that’s very individualistic, and when we try to group that into one big test or one big assessment it doesn’t give us that type of data,” said Superintendent Schatz.
As a parent and person who works with youth Alicia Waldoch says education should be catered to each individual.
“It’s really interesting. You can see how different schools are doing because the students come from a variety of different schools, and not everybody is the same,” said Waldoch of The Boys and Girls Club.
She says the new law has the potential to allow kids a better chance at success.
“To really have a system that’s going to encourage and provide those kids with success, not just a youth development program but it really starts with education,” said Alicia.

The new accountability plan is expected to take effect Fall 2017.

In the meantime, the state will be coming up with what the new plan and process will look like.

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