11-12 Letters to the Tribune
Statement of Kirsten Baesler, North Dakota Superintendent of Public Instruction:
I am humbled and grateful that the people of North Dakota have chosen me to serve a second term as their state school superintendent. I will continue to work hard and do my best to serve the students and parents of North Dakota.
I want to thank all of the people who supported me. But especially I want to thank my family – my father, my three sons, my brother and my sisters. All of my family members provided tremendous help throughout this campaign. My father and his sign that said “Re-Elect My Daughter” were a hit everywhere they went.
My family members worked hard. Any campaign is tough on a person’s family. I am grateful beyond words for my family’s unwavering support.
Now that the election is over, our focus is on the future. We have many projects under way at the Department of Public Instruction.
We have two groups of North Dakota teachers who are working to finish a new set of math and English academic standards. These will be used in classrooms across North Dakota.
We have a task force that has put together some useful recommendations on how we can reduce the amount of time our students spend on taking tests.
We’re writing a new plan about how to measure the quality of our schools. This is possible because Congress has approved a new federal law, called the Every Student Succeeds Act. This federal law gives states much more authority to decide for themselves how to measure the progress of their students. We’re going to take advantage of this new flexibility.
In my new term in office, I will continue to reach out to teachers, parents, administrators, taxpayers and students to find out what we’re doing well, and where we can continue to improve.
In fact, on Thursday I am having my first meeting with my newly appointed Superintendent’s Student Cabinet. It is a group of students who will be giving me advice and suggestions about how to make North Dakota schools into better places to learn.
I want to again say thank you for the outpouring of support in this election, and thank everyone who took time from their busy schedules to vote.
Students and education are my passion. I can’t wait to get back to work to make our students’ education better and their futures brighter.
NDJumpStart helps with financial literacy, celebrates 10th anniversary
Today people face many important financial decisions that have the potential to affect them either positively or negatively, for years to come. According to a recent article in Wall Street Journal*, The United States is considered the world’s richest country, but ranks 14th overall in financial literacy comprehension compared to other nations. This basic lack of understanding financial concepts in our society often creates economic hardships for our friends, families and the communities we live in.
The North Dakota JumpStart Coalition is a nonprofit organization that actively works to improve the financial literacy of our citizens. We educate the public through speaking engagements and workshops, provide information and materials, and collaborate with public and private organizations and law makers on various projects throughout the state.
Being financially literate doesn’t have to be complicated or complex. Knowing the basic fundamentals of credit & debt, budgeting, saving for college, home ownership and planning for retirement are a good start to a financially fit life. A state population able to make sound, knowledgeable financial decisions is vital to the future success of North Dakota and its residents.
As North Dakota Jumpstart celebrates our 10 year anniversary, we invite like-minded North Dakotans to join our cause and make a real difference in the economic lives of others. Additional information about becoming a member, resources or events can be found on our website at ndjumpstart.org.
Todd Van Orman, President
North Dakota JumpStart Coalition
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