Students across ND talk about education system with State Superintendent

Students from all over North Dakota gathered at the State Capital building to add their two cents on what can be done to improve the state’s education system.

High school, middle school, and even elementary school students gathered to talk with legislators and other educators in the community.

The Superintendent’s Student Cabinet meeting is not a new thing. State School Superintendent, Kirsten Baesler, founded the cabinet in 2015. Giving students more say than ever before.

Senior at North Border-Walhalla High School, Colton Willits says, “They usually present stuff to us and then we can present stuff to them. So they will ask what is an issue around the state and then we will go hey right now our ACT scores are kind of low right now and we are not competing at a national level standard type of deal.”
 
Baesler and other officials will listen to those students even if it’s not always something they agree on.
 
“If it’s completely outlandish and why would you even do that we clearly state our voices in our own government and say hey that doesn’t make sense to do,” says Willits. 
 
This year they discussed topics on bullying and ways to connect education with the workforce. Guest Speaker, Patrick Mineer, explains one of the new projects they are trying to work on with the student cabinet.
 
“We basically want to help student understand more about what their skills, talents, and careers are and then actually if they want put them in contact with employers that might be willing to offer them work agreements in exchange for tuition reimbursement,” says Mineer.
 
He says having the students input is essential to making this happen.
 
“Sometimes as adults we all think we have the right solutions and we have these ideas that everyone is going to love,” says Mineer. “But at the end of the day if we don’t talk to the actual people who we are trying to help what we put together isn’t going to work.”
 
“The thing about being a student and to be able to voice your opinion,” says Willits. “You are the future you have basically what your future is going to be sitting in someone else’s hands. Honestly if every single school board, every single body could have a youth voice out there that would be great.”
 
Each member serves for 18 months and meets with Beasler and others every 3 months. The students in the cabinet represent 15 communities all across North Dakota.
 
For a full list of the students participating and more information, click here.

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