North Dakota Teachers Have Most Independence in the Nation
In a recent study, North Dakota was named the best state in the nation for teacher independence. The state ranked number one, or close to, in each category involving teacher's freedoms as an educator.
The figures contain information from the National Center for Education Statistics, where North Dakota is recognized as the state with the highest average overall.
The study examines a teacher's involvement in the following:
- Selection of Material and Content
- Teaching Techniques
- Grading Systems
- Amount of Homework
State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Kirsten Baesler, spoke about the categories. “The study looked at teachers’ ability to select their own materials and content, and determine instruction methods, grading systems, homework assignment and discipline,” Baesler said. “These are areas we feel are best addressed at the local level, where teachers know their schools and their communities and, most importantly, what is best for their students.”
For example, when educators reported their level of control in "selecting content, topics, and skills to be taught", more than 80% of North Dakota teachers reported they had control, versus a 57.8% national average.
Baesler credits the involvement of our local teachers at a state level, emphasizing their opinion's importance on educational decisions:
Teachers should always be included in North Dakota’s educational process. They are a vital part of the decision making team.
For further information on teacher autonomy in the United States, take a look at the Center for American Progress.