North Dakota’s approach to supporting schools is not comprehensive.
While school improvement funds are being made available to identified schools, the constellation of supports is not comprehensive, and many of the state’s planned interventions lack specificity. The state also does not specify any more rigorous interventions for those schools that fail to exit comprehensive support and improvement status.
North Dakota has established a multitiered system of supports for identified schools.
The model includes a needs assessment, training in developing plans, professional development, data analysis support, monitoring, and access to research based strategies for student support. Unfortunately, it is not clear how these supports will be accessed or implemented.
North Dakota plans to distribute its 7 percent set-aside of funds dedicated for school-improvement strategies through a formula. Since the state has opted not to use competitive funding, it should at least consider using a rigorous process for reviewing and approving these improvement plans.