North Dakota’s Math & English Standards are the Result of Plagiarism



PlagiarismNoun. The practice of taking someone else’s work or ideas and passing them off as one’s own.

If your education was anything like mine, you were taught from grade school through college that plagiarism is an unacceptable practice. The teacher’s I had made it very clear that any student caught plagiarizing would not get credit for their assignment. In college we were told it could result in expulsion from the class.

The website


is very straightforward about the practice:

“…plagiarism is an act of fraud. It involves both stealing someone else’s work and lying about it afterward.”

So, to see our very own Superintendent of Public Instruction, Kirsten Baesler, making these comments in an article she wrote at the end of last month is troubling:

“Our public school math and English teachers will be using new learning standards, which were written by two separate groups of North Dakota math and English instructors over 11 months of work. These standards provide guideposts for what our students should know, and be able to do, in each grade. They are the fruit of a process that included extensive reviews and opportunities for public comment. They are truly North Dakota standards, written by North Dakota teachers.” (Emphasis Added)

And this isn’t the first time Superintendent Baesler has made such claims. They’re just the most recent ones as part of her propaganda campaign. In a  May 3, 2016 article with the Bismarck Tribune, Baesler said:

“We will create a set of standards by North Dakotans for North Dakotans.” (Emphasis Added)

In a September 29, 2016 article with SayAnything Blog, she wrote:

“These new standards will replace the standards adopted in 2011 based on the Common Core.” (Emphasis Added)

Only there’s just one problem… the standards were not written by North Dakota teachers. Nor did they replace Common Core. And I’ll not only tell you that, but I’ll prove it to you.

You can see the “North Dakota” English Language Arts Standards here. The “North Dakota” Math Standards can be found here. You can then compare these to the Common Core English Language Arts Standards here and the Common Core Math Standards here.

It takes some time, but the comparison very quickly shows that the so-called “North Dakota” standards – that Superintendent Baesler is touting to North Dakotans as “new” – are nothing more than the Common Core State Standards with a new title, format, and the occasional modification.

While I’ll leave the page by page comparison to you, I do want to share some examples.

Let’s start with the “How to Read This Document” page found in the beginning pages of the “North Dakota” English Language Arts Standards:

Now let’s compare that to the “How to Read This Document” page found in the Common Core English Language Arts Standards:

Let’s take a look at some of the actual standards.

Here we have an example from the “North Dakota” English Language Arts Standards for Kindergarten, Grade 1, and Grade 2:

Now let’s compare that to the Common Core English Language Arts Standards for Kindergarten, Grade 1, and Grade 2:

And now a final comparison from the English Language Arts.

Here we have a selection from the “North Dakota” English Language Arts Bibliography:

Now compare that to this selection from the Common Core English Language Arts Standards Bibliography:

Now let’s take a look at some Math comparisons.

Here we have an Overview of “North Dakota” Math Standards for Kindergarten:

And here is the Overview of the Common Core Math Standards for Kindergarten:

Now let’s compare some Math standards.

Here is an example of “North Dakota” Math Standards for Kindergarten:

Now compare that to an example of the Common Core Math Standards for Kindergarten:

I could go on, but I’m hoping you get the point by now. And if you still doubt me, I challenge you to do your own comparison with the links I provided earlier. These are not North Dakota Standards written by North Dakota teachers. They are still the Common Core State Standards, but the writing team dropped all the references to Common Core that were previously found in the 2011 standards.

This, of course, is nothing new to some of us. We’ve known it all along. And I’ve written about it before. It’s also not the first time that Superintendent Baesler has made the claims that she has. She’s done that all along as well. And it’s her who has led the campaign to convince Legislators and North Dakotans that these are “new North Dakota Standards, written by North Dakota teachers”.

Did those of us who wanted to see Common Core removed from the state lose? Yes. We lost in the 2015 Legislative Session and again in 2017. I can admit that without hesitation– it’s called honesty.

So, why can’t Superintendent Kirsten Baesler be honest with all of us? She obviously felt the pressure after the 2015 effort to eliminate Common Core and the 2016 NDGOP State Convention– where she nearly lost the party’s endorsement to an unknown candidate named Joe Chiang. But instead of telling us straight up that we would keep the Common Core State Standards – with extremely minor changes – she chose to propagate a lie that they were “new”. A lie that she continues to this very day.

The very least that I expect of any Superintendent of Public Instruction is to be transparent and honest. The fact that Kirsten Baesler has not been reflects poorly on the State of North Dakota, our Department of Public Instruction, and the Superintendent herself.

Instead of honesty, Baesler has intentionally chosen to deceive the public. And because of that, the 2017 North Dakota State Standards for Math and English are nothing short of an act of plagiarism– an act of fraud. A fitting description for the so-called “North Dakota” state standards and perhaps even Kirsten Baesler too.






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About T. Arthur Mason 294 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.