NDU Delegate Assembly Set for April 16 Teacher Shortage Critical Budget Cuts Hit Hard ndunited.org
BL I C EDUC AT I
ATTEND THE NDU DELEGATE ASSEMBLY APRIL 16 The NDU Delegate Assembly will be held at Bismarck State College, in the National Energy Center for Excellence Bavendick Stateroom on Saturday, April 16. This is a very important meeting – one where your members will have an opportunity to share in the governance decisions of the NDU and elect statewide delegates to the NEA RA.
ARCHULETA, CHRISTENSEN, FEIST RE-ELECTED TO OFFICE Eleven Delegates Run for Six NEA Slots
ND United President Nick Archuleta, Vice President for Education Karen Christensen, and Vice President for Public Employees Gary Feist ran unopposed for their positions on the ND United Board, so they were automatically elected to their respective offices. Eleven members have filed for delegates to the National Education Association (NEA) Representative Assembly in Washington, DC, July 2-7, 2016. An election for the six open slots will be held during the ND United Delegate Assembly, April 16, 2016, in Bismarck.
11 ESSA REPLACES ‘NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND’
The new Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which replaces No Child Left Behind, takes important steps to restore control of North Dakota education policy to local and state officials.
STATE TEACHER SHORTAGE AT CHRONIC STAGE ND United is one of 11 organizations named last fall by North Dakota Superintendent of Public Instruction Kirsten Baesler to serve on the Educator Recruitment and Retention Task Force. “The whole purpose of the task force is to come up with a long-term solution for the chronic teacher shortage in our state,” said ND United President Nick Archuleta. “The teacher shortage is not just a North Dakota problem. It is a national problem.
MARCH 2016 United Voices is the official publication of North Dakota United, 301 N 4th Street, Bismarck, ND 58501. Postmaster, send address changes to: North Dakota United 301 N 4th Street Bismarck, ND 58501 Linda Harsche Director of Communications Kelly Hagen Director of Field Communications Image Printing Design/Publisher
BUDGET CUTS HIT HARD
When Joey Roberson-Kitzman was called into his boss’s office at the North Dakota Department of Transportation, he didn’t know what to expect. Ever since Gov. Jack Darlymple delivered an address to state agency heads on Feb. 1, ordering them to slash their budgets by 4.05 percent, state workers and faculty and staff at our public universities have felt the sting of uncertainty. The state’s general fund revenues fell $1 billion short of the March forecast that the state Legislature had used in crafting its $6 billion general fund budget for this current biennium.
“Communities around the state are gearing up for city commission elections, county commission races, school board elections and co-op board elections,” said NDU President Nick Archuleta. “These important offices directly affect the communities in which we live and work. NDU can help our locals and chapters to recruit and elect candidates that value public employees, public schools and teachers, and education support professionals.”
ND United Voices
NDU CONTINUES TO GROW INFLUENCE Along with increasing our membership Unless you have spent this past year in a deep hole, you have no doubt noticed that the 2016 Campaign Silly Season is in full swing. After seeing what has come to pass for high-minded political discourse, particularly on the Republican side of the race, no one would fault you for crawling into the darkest recess of the aforementioned hole. By Nick Archuleta NDU President
To that end, NDU staff and I have repeatedly reached out to legislators, agency heads and other government officials as they attempt to chart a course through the rough economic waters in which we find ourselves.”
Name-calling and vitriol have replaced civility to such an alarming extent that I am wondering if any of those involved ever took a basic civics course. Even my son wonders if this is the best we can do. And he’s in middle school! Still, as public school teachers, university faculty, education support professionals and public employees, every decision that affects our work-day lives is a political decision. That fact necessitates that North Dakota United (NDU) continues to grow our influence as we grow our membership. This idea is so important that the NDU Board of Directors has made increasing the size of our political footprint one of three strategic principles that guide what we do at NDU. To that end, NDU staff and I have repeatedly reached out to legislators, agency heads and other government officials as they attempt to chart a course through the rough economic waters in which we find ourselves. Through our efforts, we have successfully shared the concerns of our members and the impact that their budget-cutting decisions have on the lives of public employees. In another example of increasing our government relations function, NDU, in collaboration with the ND Farmers Union and the ND AFL-CIO, convened the first Candidate Academy (you can read about it in this issue). This is an excellent opportunity to front-load the election process. The Candidate Academy was open to anyone, Democrat or Republican, who shares our commitment to labor rights, reasonable agricultural issues, and great public education. By all accounts, the event was a success, featuring great presenters who covered every aspect of running a successful campaign. I am proud of Stuart Savelkoul (NDU), Jessica Haak and Kayla Pulvermacher (NDFU) and Andrew Bushaw (ND AFL-CIO) for their outstanding efforts in organizing this important event. Looking forward, you can expect to see much action around the other two strategic principles adopted by the NDU Board of Directors: increasing membership and increasing the level of activity among our members. You will be pleased to know that NDU has more members now that it did when the merger occurred two and a half years ago, and that we have had roughly 265 members attend the two NDU Advocacy and Bargaining Conferences we have conducted. NDU is trending in the right direction, but we are going to need all of our members to make NDU the transformational organization that I know it can be!
Public Service Perspectives
BE PART OF ALLOTMENT TALKS Discuss budget cuts with your fellow public employees
The North Dakota economy is significantly impacted by the price of commodities. We have seen the price of a barrel of oil drop from $100 to $28, while agricultural commodity prices have also dropped by 50 percent or more over the last couple of years. The drop in commodity prices has affected all revenue sources of the state, including oil extraction tax, sales tax and income taxes. Sales tax is a major portion of the state’s revenue stream, and its importance to the state’s total revenue grew with the growth of the Bakken development. It’s estimated that the completion of each well adds $200,000 to the sales tax collected. With over 1,000 wells waiting to be completed, there is a potential for growth in tax collections.
By Gary Feist Vice President of Public Employees
As a union, we must advocate for a balanced revenue stream that will support the services that we provide, while also enabling the state to attract and retain quality employees with market salaries and benefits. ”
With the economic forecast indicating that the state’s revenue collections will be $1.07 billion less than originally anticipated, the governor is requiring an allotment of 4.05 percent from each state agency’s budget to cover the gap. While these reductions may be necessary to balance the state’s budget, we as public employees have an obligation to make sure that the vital services that we provide continue to be provided and that the opportunity to earn a degree in higher education remains affordable for all. Members of North Dakota United must join together and organize our potential members to advocate for the importance of the vital services provided each and every day. This is an opportunity to talk to your fellow NDU members about what they want from their union and how they can be involved in advocating for quality public services. We also need to reach out to our potential members to let them know that NDU is the collective voice for all public employees, and through our voice, we will make a difference in securing funding for public services. As a union, we must advocate for a balanced revenue stream that will support the services that we provide, while also enabling the state to attract and retain quality employees with market salaries and benefits. Over the past several legislative sessions, the Legislature has reduced the corporate and individual income tax rates by 45 percent and 52 percent, respectively. They did this after the citizens in 2008 overwhelmingly rejected an initiated measure that would have reduced the corporate income tax rate by 15 percent and individual income tax rate by 50 percent. The rate reductions to an average individual have not resulted in a significant amount of tax savings, while multinational corporations and those individuals at the top-earning brackets have seen a significant reduction in their taxes payable to North Dakota. In the coming months, we will have the opportunity to have a discussion about what is important to all North Dakotans and shape the state into a place where we want to live and work. We, as members of North Dakota United, can stand up and speak out for the quality services that we provide. We can advocate for a fair and balanced tax policy that will fund quality services and enable the state to be competitive in recruiting and retaining public employees. As members of North Dakota United, we must participate in the political process, organize our members to be engaged in the budget/revenue discussion, and ask potential members to join NDU to build on our collective voice to make sure we are heard.
ND United Voices
ESSA ENSURES ALL STUDENTS HAVE SUPPORT Teachers’ voices will be heard once again
It has been more than a decade since educators have followed the guidelines of the deeply flawed No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act. The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) has now returned the decision making to educators, parents, and communities. The focus can be back on students who are in the deepest need to learn. The Every Students Succeeds Act ensures that all students will have the support, tools and time to learn what they need to succeed. The return of educators’ voices in all aspects of the decision-making process will happen at all levels. Educators now will be included in the policy-making process. Being included in deciding what is best for students and recommending changes to accommodate all students is crucial in moving students to college and career readiness. Support and tools to meet the learning styles of students and presentation methods of educators will be supported. Standardized testing will be taken from the decision-making process. Testing will be used to drive learning strategies and not to punish or label schools. This is a step that will move education to the high standards we all strive to achieve. ESSA will create an “opportunity dashboard” that will help close opportunity gaps in needy schools. Targeted groups of students who most need intervention will be provided advanced coursework, fully-qualified teachers, specialized support such as school counselors, nurses and psychologists, high-quality early childhood education, arts and athletic programs, and community health care and wellness programs. Renewing the federal role in ensuring equal educational opportunity is as important today as it has ever been.
By Karen Christensen Vice President of Education
Testing will be used to drive learning strategies and not to punish or label schools. This is a step that will move education to the high standards we all strive to achieve.”
With the passage of ESSA, the work of educators is just beginning. Many federal mandates have been eliminated and state legislatures will play a decisive role in determining how ESSA will be implemented. States will need to work with local stakeholders and districts to design new and better assessment and accountability systems. States will need to identify and close opportunity gaps. North Dakota is recognized as one of the fastest growing states in our nation with a growth of 2.28 percent from July 1, 2014, to July 1, 2015. Educators need to grab a seat at the table to make a difference for North Dakota students. We need to step outside the classroom for involvement in the profession beyond local staff meetings and classroom planning. Contacting legislators and policy makers to move towards building an educational system that serves the needs for all North Dakota students and movement towards student success is imperative. Teacher recruitment and retention, assessment and accountability systems, and highly qualified services to students are among the many issues that will be priorities for North Dakota United and those on the front lines for our students. Our work is just beginning, but what an exciting time for positive change!
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” - Margaret Mead ndunited.org
Ce d hp eate the NDU F dati 25th Anniv
Friday, April 15th , 2016 A social will begin at 7:00 PM at the Radisson Hotel, New York Rooms I & II in Bismarck, North Dakota
There will be a cash bar. Heavy hors dâ€™oeuvres and anniversary cake will be served.
A silent auction will be held to benefit the NDU Foundation. NDU Foundation Board President Dan Hinnenkamp will be in attendance, along with other former and present Foundation Board members. You can also visit with your President Nick Archuleta, Vice President of Education Karen Christensen, Vice President of Public Employees Gary Feist and meet the candidates that are running for NEA Representative Assembly delegates (See NEA delegate story in this issue). 6
ND United Voices
ATTEND THE NDU DELEGATE ASSEMBLY APRIL 16 Share in governance decisions and elect statewide NEA RA delegates When & Where
The NDU Delegate Assembly will be held at Bismarck State College, in the National Energy Center for Excellence Bavendick Stateroom on Saturday, April 16. This is a very important meeting – one where your members will have an opportunity to share in the governance decisions of the NDU and elect statewide delegates to the NEA RA.
As United Voices went to press the following have been asked to speak at the DA: US Senator Heidi Heitkamp, ND Governor Jack Dalrymple, First Lady Betsy Dalrymple and Superintendent of Public Instruction Kirsten Baesler.
Delegate Report Form
Each local is guaranteed at least one representative. Larger locals are allowed 1 per 50 members. Local Association Presidents should make every effort to have your local represented. Please complete and return the Delegate Report Form ASAP but no later than April 7. More information, including the agenda, will be sent when we receive your Delegate Report Form.
Come and meet the NDU candidates running for election and join in the celebration of the NDU Foundation’s 25th Anniversary. Plan to attend! Friday, April 15th at 7 p.m., at the Radisson Hotel, in New York Rooms I & II.
Friday, April 15, Hotel Accommodations, Radisson, Bismarck
If you need hotel accommodations, please contact the Radisson Hotel (605 E Broadway Ave.), directly. The phone number is 701-255-6000. Tell them you are attending the North Dakota United (NDU) function when you make your reservation. GUARANTEE your room for late arrival with a credit card or they will release the room at 4 p.m. Room rates are $80.10 single and $95.10 double (plus tax). Please contact the hotel before March 31 to qualify for these rates. After March 31, the room block will be released and reservations will be honored on a first-come, first-served basis.
Recognizing the importance of participation at the state delegate assembly, NDU will provide the following expense assistance to locals or chapters (not individuals): the IRS standard business mileage rate for one car per local, one-half of the cost of a double room at the DA hotel, if necessary, for each delegate and $25 for each registered delegate.”
Delegate Assembly Assistance: Recognizing the importance of participation at the state delegate assembly, NDU will provide the following expense assistance to locals or chapters (not individuals): the IRS standard business mileage rate for one car per local, one-half of the cost of a double room at the DA hotel, if necessary, for each delegate and $25 for each registered delegate. In addition, NDU will be responsible for breakfast and lunch on the day of the assembly. (Vouchers will be available at registration.)
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
ND United President Nick Archuleta
ND United Vice President for Education Karen Christensen
NDU Vice President for Public Employees Gary Feist
ARCHULETA, CHRISTENSEN, FEIST RE-ELECTED TO OFFICE Eleven delegates run for six NEA slots By Linda Harsche, NDU Communications
ND United President Nick Archuleta, Vice President for Education Karen Christensen, and Vice President for Public Employees Gary Feist ran unopposed for their positions on the ND United Board, so they were automatically elected to their respective offices. Eleven members have filed for delegates to the National Education Association (NEA) Representative Assembly in Washington, DC, July 2-7, 2016. An election for the six open slots will be held during the ND United Delegate Assembly, April 16, 2016, in Bismarck. Following are bios and photos of the members running: Stacy Adamson, a physical education and health teacher in West Fargo’s Harwood Elementary, was born and raised in West Fargo. After graduating from West Fargo High School, she went on to get a Bachelor of Arts degree, doubling in Health/Physical Education and Sports Medicine from Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell, SD. Adamson also has a Master’s degree in Teacher Leadership from NDSU in Fargo. She has served as Harwood’s building representative and presently is the Vice President of the West Fargo Education Association.
Deb Beeler, a Speech Pathologist in the West Fargo Public Schools, is in her 34th year of teaching in the state of North Dakota. Thirtytwo of those years were in the West Fargo Public School system. Beeler is in her fourth year as serving as treasurer for West Fargo Education Association (WFEA). Prior to serving as treasurer, she was an Elementary Representative on the Executive Board for WFEA. Beeler also served as a building representative. She graduated from North Dakota State University with her Bachelor’s degree in Speech/Language Pathology and the University of North Dakota with her Master’s degree in Communication Disorders. Beeler continues to be active in her church, an advocate for the students she works with, and says she enjoys spending much of her time assisting her aging parents.
Adamson is married and has three children.
ND United Voices
Danielle Borseth is the current president of the Mandan Education Association. Borseth is originally from New Salem, where she attended high school. She received her undergraduate degree in K-12 Health and Physical Education from Northern State University in Aberdeen, SD. In 2009, she received her Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of St. Catherine’s in St. Paul, MN. Borseth began working on her teaching degree in 2001 in Valley City, concentrating on Elementary Physical Education. She has been teaching seventh and eighth grade health for the past seven years in Mandan. She has been a member of ND United (NDU) and the National Education Association (NEA) since attending college. Borseth has a strong belief in education of youth and the teachers who are in the trenches every day, making sure that every student succeeds. Jennifer Conlon has been a physical education instructor in the Mandan Public School District (MPS) for 21 years. She has been an NEA and Mandan Education Association (MEA) member for all of those years. Conlon has served as Head and CoNegotiator multiple times while in Mandan and is currently the Vice President of the MEA. Other positions she has held include: MEA Building Representative, Facilities and Finance District Committee Member for the MPS, Chairperson, Committee Member of MPS District Wellness Committee, Lewis and Clark Elementary Needs Committee, SPARK Physical Education Curriculum Facilitator for MPS and Standards and Benchmarks of Physical Education Committee Member in Mandan. She believes it is important to be involved and serve in one’s associations in order to have a voice in the education process. Connie Deutsch, an Instructional Materials Manager/Education Support Professional (ESP) for the Fargo Public School, is on the ND United ESP Advisory Board. She also serves as Fargo Education Association (FEA) Secretary. Born and raised in Atlanta, GA, Deutsch came to Fargo in 1978 after meeting her husband in Atlanta. After 37 years, she’s
still at the Fargo Public Schools today. Even though she had an Associate degree in Accounting, Deutsch stayed home until each of her children started school. Deutsch started subbing for the Fargo Public Schools (FPS) in various positions: SPED Para, office proctor, and finally found a position in the counseling office of Fargo’s North High School that she loved. Luckily FPS received a School-to-Work grant to hire a Career Resource Specialist. She worked for North High School in that position for 11 years. Deutsch was also the Student Council Advisor for three years, on the school’s School Improvement Committee and part of the FPS’s first Technology Initiative. In 2008, she took a 12-month, newly created position at the District Office. Deutsch works with Instructional Materials for all classroom teachers in grades K-12, SPED-ELL, and Title. Deutsch also works with a Summer Technology Camp in June, which is for educators. Lisa K. Dullum is completing her 16th year of teaching. For the first seven years, she taught K-12 music in Bowbells and Grenora. The past eight years, she has spent her time teaching elementary music for West Fargo Public Schools. Dullum has been a member of WFEA since she started teaching in West Fargo, and in the past few years she started taking a more active role as WFEA Executive Board Secretary, multiple committees, and as a building representative. She is now serving as President of the West Fargo Executive Board. Dullum chose to take a more active role because those who have been leading for many years would be retiring, and Dullum feels it was important to take the initiative to learn from those leaders/mentors. She is excited for the opportunity to be involved in her local association and is looking forward to the possibility of being involved at a state level. Jolene Sand, a first-grade teacher at L.E. Berger Elementary in West Fargo, is originally from Hillsboro. Sand received her Bachelor’s degree from Mayville State College. She also got her Curriculum and Instruction Master’s degree from St. Thomas University in Minnesota. She has served as an Elementary Representative of the West Fargo Education
Association and on the negotiations team. Sand is married to Kent Sand, and they have three children. Derek is attending the University of Wisconsin-Stoudt, Kenna Joe is attending UND, and Kennedi is a senior at West Fargo High School. Heather Guy-Spickard, a high school English teacher for six years and Department Chair in Fargo for three years, has served as Fargo’s Executive Board Representative, Building Representative, Negotiations Team member and ND United Delegate. Guy-Spickard has also taught English in Forest Lake, MN and Yuma, AZ. She received her BA in English from the University of Minnesota-Morris Teaching Certification and her MA in Secondary Education from Grand Canyon University in Arizona. Union membership became Guy-Spickard’s second career. Fully immersed in the NEA at all levels, she became a negotiator in her fourth year of teaching, in addition to the positions at the building level. Lyndsey Swanson, a first-year, sixth grade teacher in Wishek, is originally from Casselton. She attended school in Casselton and furthered her education at Valley City State University (VCSU). Swanson has an Elementary Education degree with a Kindergarten Endorsement. She also has a Title I reading and math credential. At VCSU, Swanson also worked at an on-campus job. After student teaching in Valley City, Swanson graduated Summa Cum Laude and began teaching in Wishek. She is looking forward to advancing her professional growth and developing the profession of education.
Association of North Dakota. He has been involved in school improvement, the North Dakota Theatre Arts Curriculum Frameworks Committee, the North Dakota Reading Association, and the North Dakota Geography Alliance. He is actively involved in the Lions Club and has held many leadership roles. Special recognitions include: Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers (three times), listed in Who’s Who Among America’s Professionals (two times), and a Melvin Jones Fellowship Awardee. He is a life-member of the North Dakota Firefighters’ Association, a Melvin Jones Fellow and has received four Lions Club International President’s Certificates of Appreciation. Thueson is married to Lynell, and they have one son, Mark. Whitney Wolf, a kindergarten teacher at Discovery Elementary School in Grand Forks, serves as a Building Representative at Discovery. She was born and raised in Minot, graduated from Minot High School and received her Elementary Education Degree with her Kindergarten and Reading Endorsements from Minot State University. Growing up, Wolf was an active member in Key Club, Thespians, Theater, and Character Counts Club. She was also a member of the Student Education Association (SNDU) during college Upon graduating college, Wolf started teaching second grade in Garrison where she was a part of the Garrison Education Association Party Planning Committee. Last fall, she was able to be a part of opening a brand new school, Discovery Elementary in Grand Forks.
Tim Thueson is a Title I Coordinator and Title I math and reading teacher at Solen. He formerly taught in McClusky, Pettibone and Sheyenne. Thueson graduated Cum Laude from Mayville State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Education. He received his Master of Science degree in Education from Minot State University. Thueson served as president, vice president and negotiating team member on the local level. Besides NDU, he is a member of the Communication, Speech, and Theatre
ND United Voices
ESSA REPLACES ‘NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND’
ESSA represents a unique opportunity to reverse the very worst aspects of the failed No Child Left Behind. As I have said repeatedly as I lobbied for this legislation, we need to bring back the joy of teaching and learning and do all that we can to establish student-centered, teacher-led classrooms. We must reward and embrace the creativity of our teachers and restore autonomy to their classrooms. ESSA is a tremendous step in that direction.” NDU President Nick Archuleta
Restores control to local and state officials By Linda Harsche, NDU Communications
The new Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which replaces No Child Left Behind, takes important steps to restore control of North Dakota education policy to local and state officials. “Students and educators have lived with the unintended consequences of the failed No Child Left Behind (NCLB) for more than 14 years, “said ND United President Nick Archuleta. “Since the early days of November, I made stops at schools around the state for the purpose of listening to groups of teachers discuss what is and is not working in education. At every stop on this Listening Tour, teachers expressed their frustration with an education system that gives more credence to the ill-informed advice of bureaucrats in Washington than to the experts actually working in our schools. These professional educators and education support professionals know that the prescriptions of NCLB served only to create anxiety, sap the joy from teaching, and diminish the studentcentered, teacher-led classrooms that we know best serves the interests of our children.” “All that ends with ESSA,” said Archuleta. “Educators will have a seat at the table when it comes to making decisions that affect their students and classrooms. This legislation, if enacted responsibly, will empower teachers to be even more creative and bold in their lessons because they can teach to standards and not to standardized tests. ESSA law does not reduce the number of tests required by federal law. What ESSA does do is change the fact that only those test scores and graduation rates determine what makes a quality school. ESSA decouples high-stakes decisions and statewide testing so students have more time to develop critical thinking while educators do what they love — inspire a lifelong love of learning.”
According to Archuleta, leading up to ESSA’s passage, professional educators mobilized in North Dakota and across the nation, using face-to-face meetings with lawmakers, phone calls, petitions, emails and social media to urge Congress to bring the joy of teaching and learning back to the classroom and help close opportunity and resource gaps so that all students have access to a well-rounded education.” “Educators nationwide made nearly a half-million individual contacts to members of Congress and we are thankful that Congress listened,” he said. “ESSA represents a great and welldeserved victory for public education because the Every Student Succeeds Act will ensure all students have equal opportunity to a high-quality public education regardless of their zip code.” Archuleta says ND United stands ready to work with Supt. Baesler and the other organizations to craft the very best education policy possible for the students of North Dakota. Superintendent of Public Instruction Kirsten Baesler says that with the approval of the law, we can shape our school systems in North Dakota based on our own values, and what we know is important to the students in our state. “The old law focused on using standardized test scores in English, mathematics and science as measurements for school district accountability, and specified penalties for schools that failed to make ‘adequate yearly progress’ on tests. The new law will allow North Dakota to measure the quality of our schools based on a wide variety of factors,” said Baesler. According to Baesler, the North Dakota State Assessment is going to be shortened this spring. The validity and reliability of the English and math exams will be retained, while reducing the amount of time our students spend taking tests. “This will give our teachers more time to teach,” she said.
Baesler said the Department of Public Instruction also plans to begin a routine, deliberative review of North Dakota’s English and mathematics standards, to ensure our standards reflect North Dakota’s goals, values and expectations. “The present standards were approved in 2011,” she said. “Normally, the department does a standards review every five to seven years. The review will discover which standards our North Dakota educators feel confident in teaching, and which ones may require more support. Our teachers deserve more time and support with these standards.” In March 2013, three months after she took office, Baesler withdrew North Dakota’s ESEA waiver application. Her decision was made with the support of North Dakota United, the North Dakota Council of Educational Leaders and the North Dakota School Boards Association. Under the new law, Baesler said North Dakota will still have challenging academic standards and more control over assessments. “The state must write an accountability plan for education, she said. Baesler will bring together K-12 stakeholders to write the new state plan based on what we value and what we know makes a quality school. “Once we determine what we want to measure, we will also be able to determine what needs to be done to help our lowest performing schools,” Baesler said. “ESSA represents a unique opportunity to reverse the very worst aspects of the failed No Child Left Behind,” added Archuleta. “As I have said repeatedly as I lobbied for this legislation, we need to bring back the joy of teaching and learning and do all that we can to establish student-centered, teacher-led classrooms. We must reward and embrace the creativity of our teachers and restore autonomy to their classrooms. ESSA is a tremendous step in that direction.”
ND United Voices
The National Educations Association (NEA) broke down the Every Child Succeeds Act according to the following categories: Student Opportunity
For the first time in ESEA’s long history, the Every Student Succeeds Act requires state accountability systems to include at least one indicator of school success or student support—a major improvement over No Child Left Behind’s one-size-fits-all approach to accountability and the US Department of Education’s criteria for granting waivers to the law. KEY PROVISIONS • To help ensure resource equity and opportunity for all students, regardless of zip code, state-designed accountability systems must include at least one “dashboard” indicator of school success or student support—for example, access to advanced coursework, fine arts, and regular physical education; school climate and safety; discipline policies; bullying prevention; and the availability of counselors or nurses • Requires elementary, middle, and high schools to use multiple measures of student success, not just scores on statewide standardized tests • Enhances access to early childhood education • Creates a full-service community schools program to address health, nutrition, and other needs that can undermine student learning • Takes steps toward increasing transparency and accountability in charter schools—for example, requiring input from parents and community members • Continues “maintenance of effort” requirements to ensure that federal funds are not used to reduce state and local investments in education • Does NOT include Title I “portability”—a misguided approach that would dilute the impact of Title I, harm students attending Title I schools, and do nothing to address the real issue: providing adequate funding to help the students most in need succeed
Less Testing = More Learning
Not only does the Every Student Succeeds Act take steps to reduce the amount of standardized testing, it decouples testing and high-stakes decision making—a major improvement over No Child Left Behind’s one size-fits-all approach to accountability and the US Department of Education’s criteria for granting waivers to the law. KEY PROVISIONS • Eliminates Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP), the impossible one size fits all goal driving No Child Left Behind’s failed accountability system • Incorporates the SMART Act to provide funding for states to audit and streamline assessments, and eliminate those that are unnecessary or duplicative • Creates a state pilot program (in seven states initially, then could be available to all) for local assessments driven by teaching and learning, not accountability alone, that could be used in place of the state’s standardized tests • Requires school districts to inform parents and guardians of opt-out policies, and allows them to have their children opt out of statewide standardized tests where state and local policies permit • Allows states to set a cap limiting the amount of time students spend taking annual standardized tests • Continues annual statewide standardized tests in reading and math in grades 3-8 and once in high schools, but districts could seek approval to use the SAT, ACT, another nationally recognized assessment, or Advanced Placement assessments to fulfill the high school requirement—a potential reduction in federally-required standardized testing
The Every Student Succeeds Act ensures that teachers’ voices are part of decision-making at the federal, state, and local levels-a major improvement over No Child Left Behind’s one-size-fits-all approach to educating students. KEY PROVISIONS • Moves decision-making to the people who know the names of the students they educate while maintaining supports that ensure zip codes do not determine the quality of education • Incentivizes supports and interventions that are tailored to local needs while preserving the historic federal role in protecting the most vulnerable: children in poverty, students with disabilities, and English-language learners • Calls for committees of practitioners where teachers and paraeducators (with recent classroom experience), parents, and community members can work together to improve their local schools • Offers grants that could be used to support initiatives to increase diversity in the teaching workforce • Makes resources available to states that could be used to develop or strengthen teacher induction and mentoring programs • Provides a definition of professional development embedded in research based on standards developed by teachers-for example, Learning Forward’s Standards for Professional Learning • Allows district funds to be used to enhance collaboration and teacher-led professional development aligned with students’ learning needs • Prohibits the federal government from mandating teacher evaluations or defining teacher effectiveness • Expands the reach of collective bargaining to cover: • Targeted school supports and improvements in Title I • Professional development, pay based on professional growth, the Teacher and School Leader Incentive Program (formerly called TIF), and all other provisions of contracts impacted by Title II • Community schools in Title IV • Requires consultation with organizations representing educators in multiple places, ensuring that teachers and their local unions have a say in decision-making
State-designed Accountability Systems
The Every Student Succeeds Act calls for state-designed accountability systems, ends the era of No Child Left Behind’s one-size-fits-all approach to accountability, and severely limits the US Department of Education’s power to make policy—e.g., by granting waivers to the law. KEY PROVISIONS • New state-designed accountability systems must include: • Reading and math assessments • High school graduation rates • Another state determined indicator for elementary and middle schools • English language proficiency • At least one indicator of school success or student support (Note: the first 4 indicators in the aggregate must weigh more than the 5th on school success/student support) • Each state must set college- and career-ready standards, as well as goals and targets for progress within student subgroups on some measures. • Struggling schools are divided into two categories: • Comprehensive support and improvement, defined as the lowest-performing 5 percent of Title I schools; high schools where less than 67 percent of the students graduate; and schools where a subgroup of students (e.g., low-income, special needs) consistently underperform on indicators in the aggregate. Schools are identified every three years. • Targeted support and improvement, defined as schools where any subgroup of students consistently underperforms or performs as poorly as the lowest-performing schools in the state. Schools are identified annually. • School improvement plans—developed by districts for those in the comprehensive category and by the schools themselves for those in the targeted category—must include evidence-based interventions and address resource inequities. • If a school in the comprehensive category fails to improve within four years, the state must take more rigorous action. • If a school in the targeted category fails to improve, additional action must be taken after a district determined number of years. • Prohibits the US Secretary of Education from mandating accountability parameters and criteria, the weight given to different elements of accountability plans, how teachers are evaluated, what constitutes teacher effectiveness, and more
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Pilot Program for Weighted Student-funding Formulas
To enhance opportunities for students and ensure that resources are distributed equitably, the Every Student Succeeds Act creates a pilot program for locally-developed funding formulas that drive more dollars to the students most in need. KEY PROVISIONS • Gives local educational agencies (initially, up to 50 approved by the US Secretary of Education) flexibility to consolidate a significant share of state and local education funding, along with certain federal dollars, to create a single school funding system based on weighted per-pupil allocations for low-income students, students with disabilities, English-language learners, and otherwise disadvantaged students. • Requires local educational agencies to use weights that allocate substantially more funding to educationally disadvantaged students than to other students • Protects high-poverty schools by ensuring that they receive more per-pupil funding under a demonstration agreement than they received the prior year • Provides that weighted student formulas (WSFs) must be based on actual per-pupil expenditures—personnel and non-personnel— to ensure equitable support for high-need schools • Requires local educational agencies to provide assurances that they developed—and will implement—their demonstration proposals in consultation with teachers, parents, community leaders, and other stakeholders • Money does NOT follow students (i.e., no “portability” or “backpack funding”)
The Every Student Succeeds Act helps states and school districts reduce the overuse of exclusionary discipline practices, a key factor in the school-to-prison pipeline. KEY PROVISIONS • State plans must address support for local educational agencies to improve school conditions to enhance student learning, including through reducing the overuse of discipline practices that remove students from the classroom • Local educational agency plans shall address support for efforts to reduce the overuse of disciplinary practices that remove students from the classroom, which may include identifying and supporting schools with high rates of discipline, disaggregated by subgroups of students • State and local funds may be used to implement programs, such as PROMISE programs, that aim to reduce exclusionary discipline practices; implement schoolwide positive behavioral interventions and supports; and expand access to coordinated resources for school-based counseling and mental health programs, such as school-based mental health services partnership programs • Charter school funding applications (equity plans) must address reducing the overuse of discipline practices that remove students from classrooms • Data will continue to be collected on measures of school quality and climate, disaggregated by subgroups of students, including rates of: • In-school suspensions • Out-of-school suspensions • Expulsions • School-related arrests • Referrals to law enforcement • Chronic absenteeism (including both excused and unexcused absences)
Student and School Safety / Bullying Prevention
The Every Student Succeeds Act allows local educational agencies to access funds to support initiatives to improve academic achievement and student engagement, including protecting student safety; nonprofit and for-profit entities may be given the opportunity to work with students to improve academic achievement and student engagement, including student safety. KEY PROVISIONS • Provides for ongoing professional development for teachers, school leaders, and other personnel carrying out a project • Includes accountability-based programs and activities to enhance school safety such as research-based bullying prevention and intervention, cyberbullying prevention, disruption of recruitment activity by groups or individuals involved in violent extremism, and gang prevention programs • Requires plans to be developed and implemented in collaboration with local stakeholders • Requires local educational agencies to provide assurances that students who benefit from activities funded under this part of the law continue to be enrolled in
STATE TEACHER SHORTAGE AT CHRONIC STAGE
ND United Serves on DPI Taskforce By Linda Harsche, NDU Communications
ND United is one of 11 organizations named last fall by North Dakota Superintendent of Public Instruction Kirsten Baesler to serve on the Educator Recruitment and Retention Task Force. “The whole purpose of the task force is to come up with a long-term solution for the chronic teacher shortage in our state,” said ND United President Nick Archuleta. “The teacher shortage is not just a North Dakota problem. It is a national problem. It is time for serious people to take serious action to bring the best and brightest into the teaching profession and to make certain that our communities have the support necessary to ensure that great teachers remain in the profession.” “It is very clear that the number of young people choosing a career in education has diminished over the course of several years,” said Archuleta. “Since about 1983, the 16
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education systems in this country and the educators who teach our students have come under constant and undeserved criticism. When I was young, education was seen as the solution to America’s problems. Today, in some quarters, education is seen as the cause of America’s problems. Young people ask themselves why they would want to go into our profession when they could earn significantly more money and not be scapegoated for the nation’s problems.” The task force has come up with several different ideas thus far. They are: improving salary schedules in districts where salaries are low; helping young people with student loans which they have difficulty repaying on their salaries; a statewide advertising campaign to get more young people involved in education; and specific coursework in high school designed to increase interest in education careers in high school students. According to Archuleta, the major teacher shortages in North Dakota are in geographic areas where educators are not adequately compensated. “Every single subject area in North Dakota is now a hard-to-fill position,” he said.
The teacher shortage is not just a North Dakota problem. It is a national problem. It is time for serious people to take serious action to bring the best and brightest into the teaching profession and to make certain that our communities have
Increasing teachers’ salaries is an important consideration as North Dakota struggles to meet the needs of its students. However, according to Archuleta, it is not the only consideration.
the support necessary
“As I have traveled the state of North Dakota engaging teachers in conversations around the issue of recruiting and retaining teachers, a few issues have cropped up time and time again: the diminution of prestige of the profession of teaching, the lack of respect shown to teachers, and the loss of autonomy in our classrooms,” said Archuleta. “It is clear that beyond the issue of salaries and benefits, teachers want a return to student-centered, teacher-led classrooms. Teachers, after all, know their students better than bureaucrats and relish the opportunity to be creative and responsive to the needs of the children in their care.”
teachers remain in the
to ensure that great profession.”
“ND United has a responsibility to tell the truth about education and the teaching profession,” said Archuleta. “We must make sure that every North Dakotan understands the positive differences professional educators make in the lives of their students every day, and encourage young people to choose education as a profession.” Archuleta welcomes the opportunity to work with other education stakeholders on the issue of teacher shortages. “No one stakeholder group can remedy this situation alone. We are going to have to work as one to solve the problem. We are all going to have to become more creative as we try to attract people to our communities to live and work. We are going to have to work together to convince the legislature that now is not the time to underfund education in North Dakota. Despite the economic downturn ND is experiencing, we have discovered that many of those who came to North Dakota have decided to stay. They have found our state to be a decent place to raise their families. So, the need for teachers is going to continue.” Member of the Task Force besides ND United include: ND Council of Educational Leaders, ND School Board Association, Cankdeska Cikana Community College, ND Department of Public Instruction Valley City State University, Education Standards and Practices Board, the Missouri River Education Cooperative, North Border School District, University of North Dakota, University of Mary, and the ND Department of Career and Technical Education. The task force is facilitated by the North Dakota Central Comprehensive Center @ McREL International. ndunited.org
cut budgets by 4.05% BUDGET CUTS HIT HARD State agencies, higher education forced to trim salaries, increase workloads By Kelly Hagen, NDU Communications
When Joey Roberson-Kitzman was called into his boss’s office at the North Dakota Department of Transportation, he didn’t know what to expect. Ever since Gov. Jack Darlymple delivered an address to state agency heads on Feb. 1, ordering them to slash their budgets by 4.05 percent, state workers and faculty and staff at our public universities have felt the sting of uncertainty. The state’s general fund revenues fell $1 billion short of the March forecast that the state Legislature had used in crafting its $6 billion general fund budget for this current biennium. Falling oil and farm commodity prices were to blame for slumping revenues, and state agencies relying on general funds were being asked to cut spending to the tune of $245 million. Salaries, operating expenses and one-time projects were all on the chopping block. State agencies were given a Feb. 17 deadline to submit their plans for achieving their 4.05 percent cut to the Office of Management and Budget. Layoffs were a distinct possibility, especially for employees classified as temporary, like Roberson-Kitzman, and adjunct faculty, because they are not benefited positions and do not have the same protections as FTEs do. 18
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“About three weeks ago, I was told I might lose about eight hours a week,” Roberson-Kitzman said. “Two weeks ago, I was brought into the office of the division director and he told me I was done. I had to ask him three times what he meant by it. I asked, ‘Am I losing my job?’ and he said, ‘Yes.” March 4 was Roberson-Kitzman’s last day on the job for the state of North Dakota. As it happened, March 4 was also the date that Roberson-Kitzman had set to close on the purchase of a house in Bismarck. Needless to say, that sale fell through, as the bank would no longer approve the loan for Roberson-Kitzman, a single father of two who was suddenly unemployed. Roberson-Kitzman’s layoff was being attributed to another budget shortfall that the DOT is addressing currently. The DOT projected a $69.2 million slump in its transportation user revenues through the 2015-17 biennium, which are funds that come from vehicle registrations, fuel taxes and truck regulatory fees. To make up for this shortfall, the DOT was forced to close five out of the state’s rest areas, and would hold off on filling 20 vacant jobs that were open, as well as laying off an indeterminate amount of temporary employees.
said we could not have made those cuts across the board. So we’re now to do targeted cuts based upon our priorities.” For Stofferahn’s department, that meant freezing one open faculty position. “We lost one tenure-track position in our department” when a professor left the university in December, Stofferahn said, “and (the dean) immediately grabbed that line. So we lost that line … and we gave up two adjuncts. One was teaching statistics, and one was teaching criminology. Very good instructors, wellloved and effective, but we had to absorb those courses back into our tenure-track curriculum. We’ll be teaching more courses, but the consequence of teaching more courses is that we will do less research. We had won the Research Excellence Award for this department the last Founders Day a year ago. We have a very competent faculty that does excellent research, but that was partially because we had the time to do it.”
“The last time we had something like this, my co-workers told me, no temps were laid off,” Roberson-Kitzman said. “It was stressful, and there was very little overtime. But they didn’t lay anybody off. What I’ve been told that it’s not the cut in the allotment that impacted that side of the budget; it was that not enough gas tax was coming in. It’s all tied together, though; it’s all taxation.”
Under the 90-percent budget plan, the sociology department would have also lost one other faculty member: an assistant professor who is non-tenure track. “He’s been here 25 years, and he’s one of our best and most popular instructors,” Stofferahn said. “He’s very dynamic, very charming in the classroom. Students really love him. He is currently teaching at 80-percent time, and I’ve had to reduce him down to about 29-percent time to make the budget cut. … That was a hard thing to have to go around and tell my colleagues and friends that ‘I’ve got to let you go.’ It’s very demoralizing. Everyone’s just kind of sullen and morose about this.”
Higher Education Not Immune
The 11 public universities that make up the North Dakota University System all receive general fund dollars, and were similarly required to trim 4.05 percent from their budgets. The state’s largest university, North Dakota State University, had a $158.1 million general fund appropriation for the 2015-17 biennium, and needed to reduce its budget by $6.4 million. At the University of North Dakota, its appropriation was $235.6 million, and so $9.5 million was needed to be cut. At UND, all units of the university were asked to provide a total of $5.3 million in one-time savings for the current year to cover the projected budget gap. Of that total, $4.2 million in savings was achieved through faculty lines. “Everything that was open was frozen,” said Curt Stofferahn, professor of sociology and chair of UND’s sociology department. “Positions that were open were frozen. This tuition cap is going to continue on for both years of the biennium, and we figure in the next session of the Legislature, they’re going to continue the tuition cap. And they’re not going to cover the gap between the tuition cap and the cost to continue. So that makes it difficult for us to continue offering the kinds of courses and programs that we’ve been offering when we don’t have tenure-track faculty.” The Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, Debbie Storrs, asked all her department chairs to come up with two different budget scenarios, at 90 percent and 95 percent of their current budget, for her to consider. “At our last meeting with the dean, she said that the 90-percent cut was just too devastating to the college, and she ndunited.org
Roberson-Kitzman spent his last days at DOT training in two FTE co-workers to take up the job duties he will no longer be employed to do, including material source pit certification. “When somebody builds a road, they need to have a base underneath it, which is pretty much any dirt, to become compact underneath it to make the roadway flat,” he explained. “They have to take that dirt from a field somewhere. Above that, when they make the asphalt, they have to get the aggregate, which is the rock, and then grind it. They’ve got to get that from some field somewhere. So, in this process, they come to me, and I look over that area of land to make sure that there’s no wetlands that they’re going to be affecting. I create a map to make sure they stay in their proper areas, and to make sure that they’ve done the necessary things for cultural and environmental resources.” He said that his co-workers will have to take on his full-time duties, in addition to the full plates they are already contending with. Something has to give, and that will most certainly affect the timeframes in which new roads are being constructed in North Dakota. “In about a month or two, there’s going to be 30 or 40 (pit requests) that come through in a week. And the turnaround on them needs to be somewhat quick. We’ve got it online that you can expect 30 days for it. Realistically, I get most of them out in eight or less. Because without the CoA (certificate of authorization), which makes it so they have a document that they can give to the engineer, saying that they can use this pit for this project, they 19
can’t move material, and they can’t move the project forward. Let’s say that they’re waiting on a project for a pit that used to take eight days, and now takes a month, two months, that project is going to get pushed back a month, two months, and that’s going to cost the DOT and it’s going to cost the contractor.” For Stofferahn’s sociology department at UND, he worries about the future. He said that their biology department had offered up its grad program as part of budget concessions, and that the grad program in sociology is in danger, too. “We’ve had a grad program in this department going back to John Gillette, the founder of our department, back in the 1900s,” Stofferahn said. “So it’s been one of the longest, oldest grad programs in the university. And the thought of losing it has our alumni petrified.” With faculty lines being left open, and open positions left unfilled as they open up, Stofferahn wonders what will happen to sociology studies at UND. He said that when the assistant professor whose teaching hours are being reduced eventually retires, that position will not be filled, and two other faculty positions will likely not be filled when they leave. “So we’ll be down to four faculty,” Stofferahn said, “and with no grad program, we’ll probably just be teaching freshman and sophomore-level service courses for other majors. We won’t even have a major because we couldn’t offer the 300- and 400-level courses. That’s got me scared.”
With oil and agriculture commodities dropping, and tax revenues being significantly reduced through legislative action in the past several sessions, the outlook for public services and education is bleak. North Dakotans are certainly feeling anxious about the economy of our state, and how this will affect the state’s ability to educate its students and serve its citizens. North Dakota recently commissioned a poll through DFM Research, to contrast the public’s confidence with where the state is headed now with how they felt just half a year ago. In a poll commissioned by NDU in August 2015, 81 percent of the public said they thought North Dakota was headed in the right direction, while only 9 percent reported that they felt the state was on the wrong track. In our most recent polling, taken in February 2016, the number of North Dakotans who said they felt the state was moving in the right direction dropped to 63 percent, and those who thought we were on the wrong track jumped to 24 percent. “Clearly, North Dakotans are rightfully concerned about the economic future of our state,” said Nick Archuleta, President of North Dakota United. “The recent budget cuts made by our state agencies have further shaken the confidence of North Dakota voters, as has the chatter concerning even deeper cuts. Our public employees share these concerns even as they continue to provide the vital public services that North Dakotans depend on every day and have every right to expect.” It would seem unlikely that budgets for state agencies and public education will stabilize or increase in the near future. “We were told by the Provost at the Provost-Leadership Council Meeting that we can anticipate that the Legislature will seize upon the 90-percent budget scenario, and that’s what they’ll fund us at,” Stofferahn said. “So he said, ‘Expect these cuts to be permanent.’” Stofferahn pointed out the irony of cutting funding to public education and services at the exact time when those services are most needed. “Education is kind of cyclical,” he said. “When you have a recession, you have an increased demand for educational services. But also, in every recession, we’re cutting back on funding for education. So we’re less able to respond to demand.” “I hate to be such a wet sponge, here,” Stofferahn said,” but it’s not looking good.”
ND United Voices
NDU joins coalition to train candidates for public office
By Kelly Hagen, NDU Communications
NDU can help our locals and chapters to recruit and elect candidates that value public employees, public schools and teachers, and education support professionals.”
Plato once noted: “One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.” As public educators and public employees, we see this happen far too often. Education policy is written by men and women who have never taught a single day in their lives. State agency budgets and personnel levels are determined by legislators who don’t know about the work being done by our state employees. North Dakota United recognizes how necessary it is that our union play a role in political affairs for our state. Our entire organization serves to amplify your voice, so that your opinions are heard by elected leaders. In addition, we are resolved to assist any of our members who may seek public office, in any way we can. “Communities around the state are gearing up for city commission elections, county commission races, school board elections and co-op board elections,” said NDU President Nick Archuleta. “These important offices directly affect the communities in which we live and work. NDU can help our locals and chapters to recruit and elect candidates that value public employees, public schools and teachers, and education support professionals.” North Dakota United struck a historic partnership with North Dakota Farmers Union, North Dakota AFL-CIO and the Dakota Resource Council, to offer a first-ever Education, Farm and Labor Candidate Training Academy on Feb. 27-28, 2016, at NDFU headquarters in Jamestown. “Our coalition worked long and hard to plan out every detail of our Candidate Training Academy,” said Stuart Savelkoul, NDU Assistant Executive Director. “We put together an agenda of the absolute best and brightest minds in political organizing, campaign strategy, fundraising and communications. And then we invited candidates for offices from across the state, who wanted to know more about our issues and how they can better connect with all of our members, in order to represent them and receive their votes for office.”
NDU Executive Director Chad Oban delivered a strong message to these candidates for public office about who North Dakota United is, and why our issues will be so important in their campaigns. “NDU Is 11,500 teachers and support personnel, public employees, higher ed faculty and staff who happen to be most popular voters in your district,” Oban said. “That is what we are, but who we are is best described by the things our members care about – we care about kids. NDU cares about teachers, and snowplow drivers, and social workers, and kids. We care about social justice and fairness and kids. We care about public safety, public service and kids. We care about workers and equality and kids.” The list of speakers at the Candidate Training Academy included: • Kayla Pulvermacher, director of member advocacy for ND Farmers Union • Emmelee Israel, western region field communication coordinator for AFL-CIO • Amy Iler, host of “It Takes 2 with Jack & Amy” on KFGO, and Dave Thompson, news director and morning anchor for Prairie Public Radio • Tim Purdon, former US Attorney and lawyer with Robins & Kaplan LLP • Keith Kincaid, political consultant for 2KStrategies • Ana Martinez, Facebook • Karen Petel, political consultant • Tessa Gould, chief of staff for Sen. Heidi Heitkamp • Bill Thomas, news director for Prairie Public Radio • Andrew Bushaw, field director for ND AFL-CIO; Tim Glaza, field organizer for Dakota Resource Council; and Jessica Haak, membership director for ND Farmers Union
• Amy Jacobson, Measure I campaign chair • Josh Askvig, Bismarck city commissioner; Josh Kramer,
telephone co-op director; and Kaye Braaten, first-ever woman elected as county commissioner in North Dakota. AFL-CIO President Waylon Hedegaard delivered a stirring address, close to the end of this enlightening weekend. In his speech, he summed up what our working-class voters wish to see in their lives.
“What does labor want?” Hedegaard said, “We work hard, but we’d like to get paid enough for that work to live modestly. We’d like to retire with a level of security. We should be able to look forward to a day when we can lay those labors aside and not starve. Many of us work at dangerous jobs, and we’d like to be protected from the worst of that danger, and, if injured, brought back to health without risking bankruptcy.” The 30 candidates in attendance all reacted positively to the training. West Fargo Education Association President Lisa Dullum, who is running for the ND House of Representatives in District 16, said the Candidate Training Academy helped her form a vision of what her campaign will entail, and what she must do to win. “Candidate training was one of the most energizing events I have had the privilege to take part in,” Dullum said. “The sessions were organized and informative with top-notch speakers. I went to training not sure of what to expect and left with a full slate of materials, ideas to expand on, and a new network of colleagues who are passionate about making North Dakota’s future better.”
Karla Rose Hanson, candidate for District 44 takes in a session.
The entire group of candidates and trainers pose for a photo at the end of the first day. Ana Martinez, Facebook guru, teaches a session.
ND United Voices
A Rolla senior reads to kids at the Rolla School on March 2.
On March 2 Archuleta read to students in Kendra Clark’s classroom at Liberty Elementary in Bismarck.
President Archuleta read to 2016 Teacher of the Year Amy Neal’s Classroom at Lewis and Clark Elementary in Minot.
If you celebrated NEA’s Read Across America this year, please contact
ND Teacher of the Year Amy Neal and President Archuleta pose with her students.
GRAB YOUR HAT And Read With the Cat
By Linda Harsche, NDU Communications
with a photo and caption.
ND United President Nick Archuleta grabbed his red and white hat and traveled throughout the state during NEA’s Read Across America – Feb. through March 4, 2016.
ND United will send you stickers and bookmarks for your classroom.”
Archuleta started out on Feb. 29 with a trip to Barb Binstock’s classroom at Jefferson Elementary in Dickinson, then ended the day with an afternoon stop at Kari Ludlum’s classroom at Rickard Elementary in Williston. On March 1, he headed to 2016 Teacher of the Year Amy Neal’s classroom at Lewis and Clark Elementary in Minot, and then was off to Kristi Kavli’s classroom at Prairie View Elementary in Devils Lake. His final stop was at Emma Mickelson’s room at Washington Elementary in Jamestown. March 2, brought Archuleta back to Kendra Clark’s classroom at Liberty Elementary in Bismarck. His last stop was at Mary Stark in Mandan, where he read to the classes of Tammy Bopp and Samantha Kincaid. At each stop, Archuleta read Dr. Seuss’s “Cat-in-the-Hat” book to students and gave them bookmarkers and stickers. NEA’s Read Across America was created to share the love of reading with students. It’s evolved into a year-round program introducing young readers to the vast world of books and authors. If you celebrated NEA’s Read Across America this year, please contact comments@ndunited. org with a photo and caption. ND United will send you stickers and bookmarks for your classroom.
THE EXCITING WORLD OF E-MAILS NDU can help you reach your members easily and electronically You get any interesting e-mails today?
By Kelly Hagen Director of Field Communications
Don’t answer. I already know: E-mails are never interesting. But they are to me! E-mails are interesting enough for me to write a whole column about them, and (hopefully) interesting enough for you to read a whole column on the subject. Let’s see what happens, shall we? Even in the Age of Social Media, e-mail still reigns supreme over all other forms of digital communications. According to these statistics I found on my digital computer machine, e-mail is “the go-to form of communication in the business world,” with 929 million business email accounts worldwide in 2013, and that number was expected to grow by 5 percent every year, until it reaches 1.1 billion by the end of 2017. You work somewhere. You have a business e-mail, I’ll bet. You’re on the grid. The number of business e-mail accounts worldwide is dwarfed, however, by consumer e-mail accounts. These are the free e-mail accounts that anyone can sign up for, quickly and easily, on the Internet. Some famous providers include Google with their Gmail or Yahoo. Consumer e-mail accounts accounted for 76 percent of all e-mail accounts worldwide in 2013, and that number is expected to reach 3.7 billion by 2017. I think I personally account for at least a couple hundred thousand of that number. I’ve opened a lot of Gmail accounts, in my time. I opened one for my dog one time, but I
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closed it immediately after I heard he was using it to try to sign up for credit cards online. Bad Boof! You’re a North Dakota United member. Me, too! We have so much in common; let’s talk some more. If you have an e-mail address like I do (and you probably do) you’ve probably received an e-mail or twelve from NDU. We send out e-mails to announce scholarship and grant deadlines, special events coming up, conference registration dates, initiatives and programs, surveys we want you to fill out, discounts and savings programs you can participate in, etc., etc.
out on the regular to your members, all you have to do is let me know at email@example.com. That’s my business e-mail account! I’m on the grid, too! Allow me to help plug you into our communications grid. I can set up an Action Network account for you, and populate it with all of your members’ e-mail addresses. Then I will turn over the keys to you and, if you wish, I will gladly offer you a tutorial on how to use this service. And thank you for indulging me in this extremely interesting conversation about e-mails.
Before you click the delete button on the next NDU e-mail you receive, I would like you to take a moment to think about distribution. We have 11,500 members across the state. That’s a whole lot of e-mails to send out. Plus, we don’t send every e-mail out to every member of NDU. All of our e-mails are targeted toward specific recipients. We target e-mails based on geography, or constituency, your job title, your workplace or even your subject interest. Because we’re trying very hard not to “spam” you with too many e-mails, we deliberately target e-mails only to those folks who we feel need the information contained within. How do we do this? It’s magic, right? Some kind of ceremony involving a song and dance done around cauldron filled with melted Blackberries and Mountain Dew under the full moon? No. I mean, yeah, we do that, but that’s not how we send e-mails. NDU uses an online organizing tool called Action Network for targeted e-mail blasts. With it, we can easily send e-mails to specific groups of members, and then track how many of the recipients are opening your e-mails, and what links they are clicking on inside your messages. You can do this same thing! Action Network is free to use for individuals and small groups. If you want to set up your local association for this simple-to-use tool for easily sending e-mails ndunited.org
BREAKING DOWN WALLS West Fargo teacher uses technology, innovation to open up students’ worlds By Kelly Hagen, NDU Communications
It’s a problem as old as our educational system. Students go off to school every day and are taught useful skills, fascinating facts and problem-solving processes. They learn about art and world history, they read literature and they decipher complex problems in math or the sciences. Students do amazing things, every day. And when they get home, and their parents ask them, “What did you do today?” They say … nothing. Second-grade teacher Kayla Delzer, from Legacy Elementary School in West Fargo, is not impressed. “I think lots of times, kids go home and their parents ask, ‘What did you learn in school today?’ And they’re just like, ‘I don’t remember,’ or they say nothing,” Delzer said. “And I’m like, are you kidding me? We rocked it in here today, and you go home and say nothing?” Delzer says that transparency is very important in her teaching method, and so she endeavors to open up her students’ learning processes not only to their parents and caregivers, but to the entire world. Her students use a Twitter account to tweet out their daily activities, as they’re happening. She shares pictures of the students
learning on an Instagram account that parents can follow, and the students prepare a monthly video newsletter on what they are learning in Delzer’s classroom. “There are so many opportunities that have come to these kids because of our Twitter account,” Delzer said. “Recently we did a Google Hangout with my friend Brad Wade. He was in Hong Kong, doing a training session for teachers there, and we did a Google Hangout with him. It’s a 14-hour time difference. And so he stayed up late, and it was early in the morning here. We talked about time zones, land forms, what are schools like there? What’s the culture? My kids were obsessed with even things like, what do you eat there? And we wouldn’t have been able to do a Hangout with him in China if we hadn’t met him on Twitter.” Delzer is recognized throughout the state, and across the country, as a proponent for technology in the classroom, and for innovative thinking toward the craft of teaching. She is a columnist for EdSurge. com, one of the leading educational technology websites in the US She travels across the state and country, speaking at conferences and
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conventions about integrating technology into the classroom. She is a TEDx speaker, having presented on “Reimagining Classrooms: Teachers as Learners and Students as Leaders” at TEDxFargo. And she is tremendously successful on social media, having amassed tens of thousands in followers on Twitter and Instagram. “My job as a second-grade teacher always, always comes first,” Delzer said. “The other stuff I get to do is always extra. Even at TIES, in my session there was, I think, 450 people. I had over 1,000 or 2,000 tweets in my session. Knowing that I’m going to affect that many minds is powerful. Because when I’m in this classroom, I know I’m affecting these 25 lives, and that’s huge. When I’m in a ballroom, sharing my message with 500 people, I know I’m affecting 500 classrooms. So it’s almost like this bigger mission to even improve more lives and improve education even more.” For Delzer, that mission started in the small town of Lakota in North Dakota. Her mom is a kindergarten teacher, and her dad is a retired music teacher and administrator. She said she was drawn to education from an early age. “I knew since kindergarten I was going to be a teacher,” she said. “I kind of always knew I was going to be a teacher, and I just grew up with that in my blood.” She graduated from the University of North Dakota with a double major in Elementary Education and Early Childhood Education in 2008, and received her master’s degree in Elementary Education from UND in 2014. While a student at UND, she served as president of SNDEA, which is now SNDU, and she remains actively involved with speaking to education students to this day. She started her career in education in Thief River Falls, Minn., where she got her first job teaching the second grade. “I was there for six years, and it was my last two or three years there we started doing way more with technology,” Delzer said. “So that’s when I started blogging, that’s when I got my class on Twitter, that’s when I started doing more with iPad. So I started a one iPad classroom pilot up there, and then I got six iPads, and then our whole district went oneto-one, which was really cool.” She hoped to return to teach in her home state, though, and accepted a job teaching at Westside Elementary School in West Fargo in 2014, and now teaches second grade at Legacy in West Fargo. “I love West Fargo,” she said. “Our district is very progressive and forward-thinking. I work in an amazing school with a ridiculously awesome principal, where every idea I have, he’s like, ‘OK, let’s do it! You want flexible seating? Let’s do it!’ Because he knows I’m always going to have the research behind it.”
“Starbucks for kids” model. She chronicled her vision in a column for EdSurge, which became the second-most read article in the site’s history, and The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead wrote a feature about her open-classroom concept. “It was this summer and I was preparing for my TEDx Talk. I would try to work on my TEDx stuff at home, and I would be distracted. I would eat, or go for a run, or play with the dogs, or do laundry. So when I needed to get stuff done, I would go to Starbucks. And I asked, ‘Why am I going here? What makes me work here?’ I was looking around, and I wondered why can’t I do this in my school? Why can’t I make my classroom look more like a living room and less like a classroom?” Classrooms have looked mostly the same for as long as anyone can remember, Delzer said. “If you go into almost any school, you’re going to see desks, in rows. The world is changing outside of classrooms, technology is changing, standards are changing, but classrooms are all looking the same. And why are we doing that?” In Delzer’s classroom, you won’t find desks in rows, or a huge teacher desk and file cabinets. Instead, her students can choose between a stand-and-work table or a table surrounded by stability balls. There’s an open area for sitting on the floor, with yoga mats available for comfort. There’s a table with crate seats. There’s a tent shaped like Snoopy’s dog house, filled with pillows and blankets. “My whole thing was I was going to make my classroom more like a Starbucks for kids, and less like a classroom. … There’s obviously still some aspects of the classroom that look like a classroom because it’s important to have those things, but it’s also cozy and it’s comfortable, and the kids really do well with the choice, and getting to choose where they get to sit.” Opportunities for Delzer outside of the classroom, including a book she is co-writing, speaking engagements across the country, and tech companies coming to her for her expertise, are all very enjoyable and fulfilling for her. However, Delzer says that she never envisions leaving her full-time job as a teacher for those other engagements. “I’m more credible because I’m in the classroom,” Delzer said. “I worry that if I leave the classroom, I wouldn’t be credible anymore. ‘Here’s something you could do, but I don’t really know if this is going to work because I’ve never done it with kids!’ Teaching is the most rewarding job, ever. I love working with teachers, and I love knowing I’m making a difference in education. But at the end of the day, my heart is still in the classroom.” (You can find Kayla Delzer on Twitter and Instagram, @topdogteaching.)
Beyond her extended digital footprint, she is well-known for transforming her classroom at the start of this current year into a
ADVOCACY CONFERENCE DRAWS OVER 100 It was tailored to appeal to all members
By Linda Harsche, NDU Communications
When it comes to being a public employee or teacher, one line you have to draw is, ‘Keep your hands off my pension.’” – Former US Congressman Earl Pomeroy
Over 100 participants attended the second annual ND United Advocacy Conference held in Jamestown on Feb. 5-6, 2016. The conference included lots of great content, tailored to appeal to all members — K-12 teachers, education support professionals (ESPs), higher education faculty and staff, public employees, students and retirees. The idea of an all-member Advocacy Conference came from NDU President Nick Archuleta’s desire last year to bring together members from each of NDU’s constituency groups in one place to discuss issues important to all of us. “The Advocacy Conference is important as we continue to merge the cultures of the two predecessor organizations and create opportunities to meet as one unified organization,” said ND United President Nick Archuleta. Participants arrived Friday evening for registration, an ESP gathering and a General Session with former US Congressman Earl Pomeroy. “Politics is like a boat in tough winds,” said Pomeroy. The wind blows the boat far to the right and then the left. Like the boat that wants to navigate upright in a calm sea, the American people want their politics to be somewhere in the middle.” Pomeroy also touched on pensions. “When it comes to being a public employee or teacher, one line you have to draw is, ‘Keep your hands off my pension,’” he said. After registration, breakfast and a brief welcome by NDU President Nick Archuleta on Saturday morning, participants flowed to breakout sessions throughout the Quality Inn hotel. In the Bargaining I and Bargaining II sessions, issues and data were covered including current salary data, statewide negotiated agreements, and contract language. Topics also included bargaining strategy and process, ground rules, impasse, and writing proposals and rationale. UniServ Directors Jane Rupprecht, Deanna Paulson and Fern Pokorny conducted these two out of three sessions. NDU’s member benefits expert CFO Gary Rath, introduced members to the NDU, NEA and American Federation of Teachers (AFT) member benefits products and services. With the assistance of several members, he showed participants how to pay for their dues by using the member benefits developed by and for union members. Members also learned how to save on products ranging from restaurants to home loans. Rath also spent a few minutes reviewing the NDU’s Dues Credit Trust program and showing members how this program can be used as a budgeting tool. In NDU Field Communications Director Kelly Hagen’s session titled, ‘Viral Marketing and Communications,’ participants learned how to use Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. “Why do you want to go viral?” he asked. “Because you want to be heard by the public, elected leaders, members and potential members. The voices of our public educators and employees are trusted within the communities they serve. The public wants to know what we think about the issues that matter. Through social media and electronic communications, our members and our locals can more effectively broadcast those voices across our state, and we can more loudly advocate for our union.”
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Shelly and ND Senator Phil Murphy of Mayville chat with former US Congressman Earl Pomeroy.
Participants listen intently to Bargaining Session presented by UniServ directors Jane Rupprecht, Deanna Paulson and Fern Pokorny.
Following the PowerPoint presentation, participants were excited to have Hagen get them started on the new visual tools. After lunch, breakouts continued and President Archuleta hosted a special Local Presidents’ Summit. He brought together local leaders to talk about the big issues they are facing in their worksites and schools, and plan how locals can communicate with one another and work together more efficiently. Some of those issues were the Every Student Succeeds (ESSA) Act and Friedrichs v California Education Association (CTA). “The ESSA Act represents big, bipartisan legislative success; and the result of Friedrichs v CEA will override 23 states’ laws and destabilize collective bargaining agreements covering millions of public employees,” Archuleta said. “NDU is integrally involved in the political process in North Dakota,” said NDU Assistant Executive Director Stuart Savelkoul. “It is critical that our members understand that so many choices in their professional lives are political choices. Politicians decide their salaries, retirement benefits, certification standards, school and government budgets, etc. If our members don’t get active in the political process, these choices will inevitably be made by ill-informed politicians who understand our work less than they should. Put another way, if you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu.” Participants in Savelkoul’s session learned how to get involved in North Dakota United’s political action and why they must stay involved. Any and all faculty and staff members from NDU’s 11 public universities in ND were invited to take part in this all-day event, and talk about the issues most important to them. State Representative
NDU Board Member Leah Hamann of United Tribes in Bismarck attends a session with President Archuleta.
Mac Schneider gave participants a view of what they should see in the 2017 Legislative Session. In addition, higher education faculty and staff participated in an honest and open discussion of higher education’s place in NDU. A discussion was facilitated by Jodie Easley and Jessica Humphrey from the AFT. UniServ Director Geoff Greenwood oversaw this session. “School and community culture and climate hold challenges for today’s educators,” said NDU Attorney Michael Geiermann in his ‘Rights and Ethic in Education Workshop.’ He discussed the North Dakota Code of Ethics and member rights regarding student and colleague interactions. Following a short break, participants attended breakout sessions on the Public Employee Retirement System, the Labor Department and Grievance and Complaint Processing. Executive Director of the Public Employees Retirement System (NDPERS) Sparb Collins from the North Dakota Public Employees Retirement System (NDPERS) provided updates on health insurance trends and retirement funds for participants. This session addressed these and other questions about resolving issues at work. Kathy Kulesa, a representative of the North Dakota Department of Labor presented on the duties and services of their state agency, and provided information to all members about wage and hour laws, and “Discrimination 101” in North Dakota. “We had over 100 people in attendance representing each of NDU’s constituency groups, and next year we will have more. We will continue to explore ways of making this gathering even more appealing to all our members,” NDU President Archuleta said.
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Foundation Come and help us celebrate the NDU Foundation’s 25th Anniversary Friday, April 15th , 2016 A social will begin at 7:00 in the evening at the Radisson Hotel, New York Rooms I & II in Bismarck, North Daktoa There will be a cash bar, heavy hors d’oeuvres and anniversary cake will be served.
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REMAINING ACTIVE CAN PROMOTE GOOD HEALTH NDU is a place you can get involved!
By Nancy Peterson ND United Retired President
We cannot allow our pensions to be devalued and mismanaged like our brother and sister union members’ pensions have been devalued and mismanaged.”
Where has the time gone? It is already March. Does it feel like time flies by now that you are retired? It does to me. There are so many opportunities that retired members can partake in today’s world. Look around and see what needs to be done in your community, church, area or state. Many of our members volunteer at food banks, as caregivers to our parents or siblings, at our local schools, churches, and our own NDU association, just to name a few. Remaining active can go a long way in promoting good health in both mind and body. NDU continues to work to promote and protect our rights and pensions. We cannot allow our pensions to be devalued and mismanaged like our brother and sister union members’ pensions have been devalued and mismanaged. Starting in a few months many retired union workers’ pensions will be greatly reduced. Imagine what would happen to your lifestyle if your pension was reduced by 60 percent. What changes would you have to make? That is why NDU attends all the Teachers Fund for Retirement (TFFR) meetings and keeps in contact with the TFFR staff to insure our pensions are protected. How can we make sure our finances are protected? Get involved in NDU! Be an advocate for not only yourself but those that came before you and those that will follow. To quote Paul Auster: “To leave the world a little better than you found it. That’s the best a man can ever do.” That is my hope for this year and our Association. Let the journey begin.
YES, SIGN ME UP NOW IN NDU/NEA/AFT-RETIRED Complete and mail with your check today to NDU-Retired, 301 N 4th St, Bismarck, ND 58501-4020 Name: _______________________________________Social Security Number: __________________ Address: ___________________________________________________________________________ City: _________________________________________ State: ______________ Zip: ______________ Phone: ______________________________E-mail:_________________________________________ Local Association: __________________________Signature: _______________________Date: ______ _______ I wish to join as Annual Retired and pay $49 per year. Mail this form and your check to NDU, 301 N 4th Street, Bismarck, ND 58501-4020. (NDU membership year is from Sept. 1 to August 31.) _______ I wish to pay a one-time payment of $409 for Lifetime Retired. Expected Date of Retirement ___________ (month/year) _______ I wish to pay one payment of $49 and have 9 (nine) electronic transfers of $40 from my bank account for Lifetime Retired. ndunited.org
B LI C E D U C
E BLIC S
North Dakota United 301 N 4th St Bismarck, ND 58501-4020
ND United Voices
Published on Mar 1, 2016
The March 2016 issue of United Voices, the official magazine of North Dakota United, digs deeper into the budget cuts that are affecting sta...