Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Jeff Fastnacht on 17-01-2014

Today, I experienced two things that reaffirmed my belief in free public education and the successes being made at Ellendale Public School and education in general around the country.  The first was shared with me with my elementary principal, Mrs. Sell.  Below you will find a snap shot of the results of our winter interim assessment for 2nd graders at EES in both reading and math.  Their performance was exceptional with every child in math scoring average or above.  Even more outstanding is their performance in reading where 59% of the class is performing the HIGH category.









This shows our students are performing at exemplary levels in both subjects.  But, behind the numbers it validates the exceptional work being done by teachers.  Teachers that are increasingly being made out to be lazy, irresponsible, unaccountable, and not prepared to meet the needs of their students by those with a voice on TV or radio.   Do you listen to the nightly national news and wonder why our schools are failing?  They are not failing, we are doing exceptional things.  Do you ever wonder why state and national leaders want to turn over education?  The reason is simple, money and power.

I was reaffirmed today by a video defending public education that I would like to share  http://riseabovethemark.com/action In a nutshell, this video tugged at my heart as it made me think of some recent teachers, at Ellendale School, that have made the decision to leave education.  These EPS teachers also shed tears, and said the same exact things you will hear on this video.  It makes me wonder if the profession will endure the onslaught of negativity and micromanaging, but today I have hope.


Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Jeff Fastnacht on 10-01-2014

Just before the holiday ND Dept of Public Instruction release a new report showing the percentage of students from all the high schools in North Dakota that have had to take remedial course work upon entering a institution of higher learning.  This data was compiled by the department as they tracked students from the class of 2009-2012 as they entered these institutions.

For many years now, higher ed institutions have been concerned about the number of students having to take remedial math or English courses before they are allowed to take the traditional entry level math or English offered to freshmen.   The data shown on this report provides you with the average percentage of North Dakota high schools having to take such coursework at these institutions and also breaks it down for every high school specifically.  ** Special Note – I will save my arguments on why this increase is happening for another post, we will just stick with the facts**

Below are the results of that report for Ellendale High School.  At the recent January School Board meeting I have pulled a select group of regional and similarly sized districts which is what I am also providing you as well for comparison.  As you browse the results remember this is the average for all 2009-2012 graduates that attended one of the institutions above.  The statewide average for each category is noted at the top of the column in ( %).   You will find Ellendale School is below the average in all three categories and most impressively when looking at our students enrolling in the research universities.  ** Click on the image below to have it open up full screen – much easier to read**