North Dakota proposed rule creates academic transparency on CRT
A proposed change to North Dakota’s administrative rules would require school boards to adopt a policy that makes instructional materials publicly accessible to ensure Critical Race Theory is not being taught.
Current North Dakota state law prohibits a public school from including instruction related to Critical Race Theory in its required curriculum, but a local policy on curriculum review adds a necessary layer of academic transparency and accountability.
The proposal to create NDAC 67-32-01 “Local Policy for Curriculum Review” directs districts to adopt a policy related to Critical Race Theory (as defined by state law). This policy must:
Allow curriculum, resources, and instructional materials to be made available for public viewing upon request, and include the timeline involved in viewing materials;
Include the process or mechanism for curriculum, resources, and instructional materials to be viewed by the public;
Include the process for addressing issues that violate North Dakota’s anti-CRT law;
State that the school board shall ensure district-led or district-sponsored professional development compliant with North Dakota’s anti-CRT law.
Public hearing & comment period
A public hearing on Thursday, Sept. 8 at 9:30 a.m. in Bismarck will address this proposed rule creation along with proposed amendments to rules on alternative education programs and accreditation procedures, standards, and criteria.
Current North Dakota school district policy allows the public to submit a request for reconsideration of and complaints about instructional and resource material considered: not educationally suitable, not age-appropriate, pervasively vulgar, and/or part of a curriculum that forces students to profess or deny a belief in what they are reading or engage or refrain from engaging in a practice contrary to their religious belief.
Minnesota has similar state law in place as North Dakota’s proposed curriculum review rule, although not CRT-specific, that requires districts to have a procedure for a parent to review the content of the instructional materials provided to their child and, if the parent objects to the content, make “reasonable arrangements” with school personnel for alternative instruction.