The Great Deceiver & the Not-so-New State Education Standards

North Dakota State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Kirsten Baesler. It was Baesler who first propagated the lie that the Common Core State Standards were being eliminated. (Photo via screenshot.)

"An analysis of the Draft 2 Standards in comparison with the Common Core show us that all references to the Common Core State Standards have been dropped from the introductory pages to the Draft 2 Standards. Yet, the standards themselves are virtually unchanged. They’re still Common Core. We call that deception."

Those are the words I wrote back on February 1st here on The Minuteman after our Superintendent of Public Instruction had a fit in a committee meeting where the House Education Committee was considering legislation to eliminate the Common Core State Standards. A meeting in which she continued to perpetuate the myth that "new" North Dakota Math and English Standards were being written.

Yesterday the Bismarck Tribune reported the following:

"State Superintendent Kirsten Baesler has approved new state math and English standards to replace Common Core standards in effect since 2011."

Any intelligent person would take this claim to mean that the Common Core State Standards are gone… a thing of the past. After all, that’s what the words "new" and "replace" mean, right? If I get a new car and replace the old one, then it’s a different car, right? Not so fast.

With the announcement that Baesler approved the "new" standards and the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) posting them on their web site today, I took it upon myself to – once again – make the comparison. Now, I had to do a little extra work, because DPI completely removed the 2011 standards from their web site. Nevertheless, I found them.

The results? No surprise at all… they’re still based on the Common Core State Standards. The amount of changes are extremely minimal. They are not North Dakota standards. And anyone that thinks that they are is either completely ignorant, stupid (a word I try to avoid using), or they are outright trying to deceive people.

In some way incomprehensible to me, Superintendent Kirsten Baesler has buffaloed a good number of state legislators into believing the deception. I was sent an e-mail with an article written by Senator David Rust (R – District 2) and printed by the Williston Herald on February 22nd in which he claimed implementation of new standards and the end of Common Core. How can an otherwise intelligent legislator believe such a patently false claim? Is it misunderstanding? Laziness?

Regardless of the reasons, two things are certain… these are not "new" standards and they are not North Dakota standards. They are tinkered with Common Core State Standards. You can put lipstick on a pig, but it doesn’t change the fact that it’s still a pig.

Congratulations to The Great Deceiver… you won… again.

Note: For the doubters, here are the necessary links to do a comparison of your own.

2. 2017 Math Standards:
3. 2011 Math Standards:
4. 2017 English Standards:
5. 2011 English Standards:

Facebook Comments
About T. Arthur Mason 878 Articles
T. Arthur Mason is a native North Dakotan who has spent nearly all of his life in the Peace Garden State. As the third of four children in Western North Dakota, Mason grew to appreciate family and the outdoors. Some of his fondest memories are annual deer hunts with family and friends. In his early teenage years, faith became a central part of T. Arthur Mason's life. He and the majority of his family attend church together on a weekly basis and find this a fulfilling aspect of their lives. Through the influence of his father, T. Arthur Mason became intrigued with politics. As a boy, he attended political events with his father and enjoyed the friendships that resulted as a byproduct of those political associations. As Mason grew older, he became convinced that the quote often attributed to Thomas Jefferson was true, "That government is best which governs least." Today, T. Arthur Mason enjoys time with his wife and children, an occasional hunt, and an increasingly active life on the political scene. This blog is the fulfillment of a dream to design a web site in the realm of politics and to advocate for the principles of Liberty and constitutionally limited government. On behalf of all those that contribute to The Minuteman, we hope you enjoy your time on the site and will share the message with others.