Governor Kristi Noem wants to force kids to take a civics test to get their high school diplomas. Representative Fred Deutsch just wants to give them stickers.
House Bill 1051 would establish a voluntary “state seal of civics literacy program” in the 2020–2021 school year. For demonstrating a “high level of proficiency in civics,” high school graduates will get a sticker—a reproduction of the state seal of South Dakota—on their diplomas and a note about that seal in their grade transcripts.
The state Board of Education Standards would establish the specific requirements, but HB 1051 lays out these minimum general criteria for “a high level of proficiency in civics”:
- An understanding of the basic principles of American democracy and how those principles are applied in a republican form of government;
- An understanding of the Constitutions of the United States and of this state;
- Knowledge of the founding documents and how those documents shape the nature and function of the government; and
- An understanding of landmark United States Supreme Court cases and the impact of those cases on law and society [HB 1051, posted 2019.01.15].
There’s nothing wrong with recognizing students for academic achievement. After eight years of the previous Governor dissing achievement in the liberal arts, it’s nice to hear a Legislature and a Governor talking so much about the need to refocus on the deep cultural knowledge we’ve crowded out of our curricula with job prep and test prep (test prep—think about that, Kristi).
But why just a sticker for civics, a course that, as defined by the criteria of HB 1051, is assigned only a half-credit out of the 22 we require for graduation? Why not a state seal of approval for proficiency in the half-credits of personal finance or economics and physical education we require? Why not an even bigger sticker for the full credit of fine arts? Why not comparable stickers for high levels of proficiency in French, shop, psychology, physics, calculus, speech, and literature?
HB 1051 is nice but absurd. Instead of these show bills, legislators should talk nuts and bolts: is civics education failing? If so, why? What resources can we provide to improve it? I suspect lack of stickers on diplomas is not among the answers to any of those questions.
Yeah. There ought to be better prizes more in keeping with how South Dakota’s Republican leaders think government should run. How about a screwdriver? The drink, not the tool, provided by the South Dakota Liquor Dealers, would provide an understanding of how lobbyists lubricate the legislative process. Then there’s the non-stick sticker, to remind students that while the SD Constitution provides for an initiative process, Dear Leaders in Pierre have done their best to make it impossible to use as intended.
This could go on and on. Stickers work for elementary level students. It’s kind of an insult, though, to high schoolers. We have age-appropriate sex education, but we need age-appropriate understanding of what motivates students as they get older. I don’t mind recognizing students for accomplishment and merit, but find a real way to do it.
I’ve suggested before in similar DFP threads that Legislators allow students to suggest legislation through a student-run initiative-like process. The legislators then introduce those as bills, students can lobby them, and see how the process works in real life. In other words make civics real, not some lesson that you forget after the test.
I remember once teaching college kids bush v. Gore as a civics lesson.i was incredible incredulous to see many of them citing bill oreily as an authoritative source. Parents do such a poor job and right wing radio. “Brainwashing since 1964”
As the former consulting editor of a nonprofit-focused magazine and website, I was appalled at how many writers – all with master’s or doctoral degrees – misunderstand civics. They would conflate legislation and regulation, didn’t distinguish between state and federal government when referring to policy, etc.
Education has many purposes and many benefits. Public education, in particular, was established in large part so that children would be educated in such a way as to be able to participate meaningfully in our democracy once they were eligible to do so. Understanding how government works – at all levels – and being prepared to cast a vote with informed intention are two demonstrations of that civic education.
In a weirdly antidemocratic way, government has somehow become a specialty discipline rather than an intrinsic part of daily life. Too many of us are all too willing to leave governing to the career politicians, bureaucrats, and lobbyists who make it their livelihood.
A seal on a diploma doesn’t seem like the right solution to this problem, but “more of the same” isn’t a solution, either. How do we assure that civic education is a part of public education in our state and that our students actually learn civics?
You had a previous article stating that career and college readiness scores, which are a required part of the state report card under ESSA and an indicator of school improvement status are meaningless. How meaningful will civics scores be? Will the civics assessment scores become part of how school improvement is calculated? If schools are not preparing students well enough in civics, what are the consequences and who will pay for the exam, materials, support, teacher training (if any of that is needed)? Another well-thought out idea to impose on schools. . .
Oh good, more testing. As if our kids aren’t “tested” enough…..and in the end, does not determine if that student will become a ‘South Dakota’ civilian. Add to that, schools have enough to do already to prepare our young people in a state that doesn’t properly fund education or special education.
Give Herr Deutsch a participation sticker and send him back to his make believe Doctor’s office. Where I live chiropractors aren’t doctors but they do get a little white sticker on their diploma from Excelsior College (the alma mater of Stace Nelson and OldSarge).
Troubling to see family members life long or recently becoming trumpist.
“People are only going to absorb facts from sources they respect, from a source they perceive has respect for people like them.” Jeff Guo, wapo nov 08, 2016. “Politics of Resentment” Prof. Kathy Cramer, U Mich
Leslie reminds us that civics education is more than senior-year government class. Good English education is integral to civics, in that good English education (research, writing, speech) teaches students to critically think and analyze sources and messages.
J: and meaningful to whom? What universities, vo-techs, and employers will look at the civics sticker and give some preferential treatment in admissions, scholarships, hiring, or anything else that matters?
I asked my daughter if a sticker would make her study harder. “Maybe if I were five,” she said. She and Donald think alike.
But maybe if those stickers were scratch-and-sniff….
Speaking of English.
Cory, please tell us how the English is in inner city high schools?
I know one inner city Rapid City student who did very well in English.
I know of several inner city students that are actually bilingual and some that are multi-lingual.
Speaking of stickers, Sioux Falls area students who wrote essays in the recent Human Rights Day Essay Contest for 7th & 8th Graders received stickers commemorating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. If you would like one, send a self-addressed stamped envelope to Bread for the World-SD, PO Box 143, SF SD 57101. Maybe you could stick it where others will see it (rather than on diplomas) and know you care about human rights.
(Cory, Can you add a picture of the sticker to these comments?)
[You bet, Cathy!:]
Speaking of civics, what a lesson Speaker Pelosi is delivered today to high school students and the infant in the White House. It is a breath of fresh air that Donald Trump won’t have the backdrop of the House Chamber to conduct a lie-fest at what, in the Trump era, is called the State of the Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics Speech. Brava, Speaker Pelsosi!!!
Interesting point. I had been thinking last week that it would serve Trump well to snub Congress and deliver the President’s SOTU in writing for the first time in a century.
Michael, “snub congress”? I cannot imagine President Trump thinking that missing his moment in the spotlight would be anything but a missed opportunity to bask in the glow of his “adoring public.”
Besides, would the “State of the Union” pack the same punch having Sean Hannity ready it on FOX for the president (if it were written out).
You’re missing the point by assuming Trump thinks he needs help to get the spotlight. Trump believes *he* is the attraction at any event he attends. Besides, he knows that he’s not as good at prepared speeches as he is at being spontaneous. He’ll take a campaign rally over the SOTU any day. By not delivering a SOTU, he would be denying Congress the prime time airtime to preen themselves in their own house.
Rapid City doesn’t have any inner city schools.
While South Dakota legislators are preoccupied with substanceless matters, look at what Wyoming’s legislature is up to: https://www.wyomingbusinessreport.com/industry_news/billion-dollar-digital-currency-firm-moves-to-wyoming/article_b37bb3d6-1910-11e9-8636-db9b03dd8ac6.html
What is stopping trump from delivering a speech from the House Floor?
That’s public property. The Secret Service is still working. They are even still guarding Obama.
Wyoming doesn’t have a State income tax.
It’s the lowest taxed State in the Nation.
Did anyone say anything about Rapid City having inner city schools?
Have you ever felt that surrounding states “are a tuxedo and South Dakota is a brown shoe”?
Sorry, I can’t remember where that quote came from.
Please explain in detail how you can have an inner city student without and inner city school?
Figure it , it is not that difficult.
George Gobel, Roger, he was the tonight show with Carson, Bob Hope and Dean Martin, so he comes on, sits down, looks around and says “did you ever feel like the world’s a tuxedo and you’re a pair of brown shoes?” South Dakota definitely has been stuck in a rut in recent years. The state’s median income has risen at about half the national rate since 2010. Rapid City’s has actually declined. https://rapidcityjournal.com/news/local/many-factors-contribute-to-local-affordable-housing-shortage/article_5db5a27b-6e53-508e-8c8d-662094c26861.html
Thanks John T., that has always been one of my favorite lines and it was delivered perfectly.
You need to take a civics class.
You need to take a truth telling and logic class.
A civics sticker won’t change our brown income shoes into shiny tuxedo shoes. A civics sticker won’t improve any high schoolers’ English skills. A civics sticker is almost literally a Band-Aid solution… except that’s an insult to Band-Aids, which at least serve some clear medical good.
RC Central is located in the inner city part of Rapid City.
Drumpf has to be invited to give the speech and so far neither house of congress has done so.
A joint session of Congress means both the members of the House of Representatives and the members of the Senate are together in one chamber to hear a speaker.
Because the speech involves a joint session, both the House and the Senate must pass resolutions to OK the joint session.
The passing of the resolutions, in essence, constitutes an invitation from both the speaker of the House and the Senate majority leader for the president to appear before both chambers of Congress.
So far, neither the House nor the Senate has passed such a resolution that invites the president to give the State of the Union address on Jan. 29.
Can Pelosi keep Trump from delivering the address?
Yes, she can in that she controls when a vote comes to the House floor. Pelosi could hold back the vote on the resolution to create a day and time for the president to speak, and prevent him from addressing House members.
Doesn’t the president have to give the speech?
There is no Constitutional requirement that a president delivers a State of the Union address in public. Article II, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution requires only that the president periodically “give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.”
By the way, Jason, you apparently needed better civics education to help you recognize and stick to the main topics of discussion.
Tell us, Jason, is House Bill 1051 a good idea?
Jason must have received a double dose of blowhard from his wingnut buddy dealer.
Rapid City doesn’t have an inner city.
Corrupt shoes, Roger.
They should first take a financial test.
Mike, I believe Pelosi did invite The President to deliver the SOU just after her election to Speaker. Otherwise I agree with your points of Civic knowledge and recommend you immediately be granted a Civics sticker.
Cory, does your service allow the attachment of stickers to worthy commenters?
No Jason, people cannot just run onto the House floor and deliver speeches. I would also note that although the secret service are working, they are not drawing a salary. I am certain that does not affect the important jobs they do; I just thought it was worth reminding.
I lived in Rapid City’s inner city.
You were the only person that did Donald.
Donald, I still live in Rapid City’s inner city.
What Jason is tap dancing around is his definition of inner city which likely means a large black population like south Chicago.
A knowledge of civics does not a great person make. When I applied for college and grad. school, the questions were centered on community service, all around academic achievement and just general character. History is interesting to me, but what would be really fun would be to have Kristi and Fred take an actual civics exam..
I’m not tap dancing around anything. You two are.
The definition has nothing to do with race Roger.
Jason, Have you ever worked in or spent anytime in an inner city school or any school for that matter?
No, there are no inner city schools in South Dakota RJ.
Have you not read about inner city schools that exist in other States?
Hmm, reminds me of the “History and Moral Philosophy” required course from Starship Troopers….
I spent a lot of time in a variety of schools in the St.Paul/Minneapolis school district Jason during grad school. I’d be curious to know where you grew up Jason and where you currently reside?
You think MN/St. Paul is the same as Chicago?
I live in SD. If I didn’t live here, I wouldn’t post on a SD blog.
mike from iowa, Porter Lansing and a few others aren’t from South Dakota, but that doesn’t preclude them from posting on a South Dakota blog.
Of course not Roger.
They just need to understand that the majority of South Dakotan’s don’t really care about their opinions about our State and its laws.
Which part of S.D. do live in Jason? And have you ever traveled and worked outside of the state?
You speak in broad generalities, Jason, I happen to value their opinions, they often have South Dakota’s best interest at heart and have a vested interested about their friends in this state.
There is a big, wide world
Outside of S.D, Jason.
I have been to Tijuana RJ. Have you?
Haven’t you figured out where Jason is from? It is called LaLa Land.
Why hasn’t RJ answered my question about Minn./St. Paul and Chicago?
Probably because Jason won’t answer RJ’s question about where he is from and lives.
Totally true Roger.
It doesn’t matter where I live in SD Roger.
I have been almost everywhere in SD except the Pine Ridge reservation.
RJ asking me that question tells me all I need to know about him.
RJ is still not answering the question. Just another troll.
Jason doesn’t know Rapid City well if he claims there is no “inner city.” I realize the city might not call it that, but it is an inner city.
In Rapid City there is a “Gap” that divides East Rapid and West Rapid. The current Central High, however, is near downtown in an area that is central. It is also adjacent to areas that are home to poor and lower middle class homeowners, home and apartment renters and mobile home parks. It is this area as well as parts of Robbinsdale that I served as a school board member. This is the inner city of Rapid City. The ’72 flood wiped out a lot of substandard housing in this area, which was turned into the Greenway. Some of the poor and lower middle class live in Star Village, which is just up the hill and a little south and east of downtown, but it is close. Lakota Homes, which is farther out north and west, is poor, but not in the central city.
Do students that don’t have poor parents attend Rapid City Central Donald?
The answer is yes.
Whether kids come from Minneapolis or Chicago or South Dakota, they have potential ..they have flaws but at least there is still hope. Jason, I believe Corey’s op was about Kristi’s civics and Fred the douche and stickers. You have nothing of substance to say so I have nothing more to say to you.
Where did I say they don’t have potential?
As for civics, right now people on this board think the Republican controlled Senate can pass a regular bill with no Democrat votes under the current Senate rules.
republicans always have the nuclear option available them.
Mr. Nelson and Mr. H both seem to have a fixation about these Starship Troopers. It looks like it is a movie about a place with big mean bugs and a lot of ammosexualism and gratuitous violence. grudznick approved.
Mr. C, you understate the facts. Pretty much only you, Jason, and grudznick live in South Dakota. Mr. H excepted, of course.
Almost every other blogger on this site lives out of state. If I were Mr. H’s campaign manager, which I am not as of this blogging but could convince him down the road so full disclaimer here, I would encourage him to tamper down the insaner out-of-state-name-callers and to lift up his local Aberdeenites to talk about the fun things like his lay-down bicycle and neato beard and such. I’m just sayin…
I see your position, Mr. grudz. If it would help Mr. C, I’ll stop commenting on the blog. Should there be a vote to decide whether non-SD’ers should be banned or a vote to decide if non-SD’ers should only get unlimited comments on one day a week or one day a month or a vote that non-SD’ers should only get one total comment per week or one total comment per month? Or, since it’s Mr. H’s blog, should Mr. H decide which of the choices would be best for him and the folks like you that don’t like us? You decide, Mr. grudznick and I’ll go along with your decision.
Jason is now implying that schools that are in the inner city but have some wealthy students aren’t “inner city schools.” So, if Molly Ringwald’s character in “The Breakfast Club” shows up in your inner city school, you’re no longer “inner city?” Got it. Man, this guy changes his definitions faster than Trump changes his lies. Pretty soon Jason will tell us that Southside in Chicago is “inner city.” It’s always funny when a guy who doesn’t have a clue what he’s talking about thinks he’s an expert.
Grudz, of course, yammers on about posters who live out-of-state. That’s his standard issue complaint, and indicates he has nothing of value to contribute to this thread. The problem, Grudz, is that you and too many of the in-state posters are pretty dumb. It’s rare that you leave your schtick and have an honest and smart comment. And the truth be told, Jason is an example of the reasons all of us ex-pat South Dakotans left. The complete dishonesty of the ruling class as they execute their poisonous ideology is something we couldn’t abide, even if we otherwise love the state.
I wouldn’t use Central as a gauge for Rapid City’s “inner city” dimensions. If you check out Knollwood, Horace Mann and General Beadle Elementaries and North Middle School, you’ll get a much clearer sense of where Rapid City’s “inner city” is, along with a sense of the demographics.
Well, yes, John. You are quite right about that, if you are talking about the areas of town with more poor and lower middle class families. E.B. Bergquist Elementary used to be in that “inner city” area as well, but that school closed. Those areas of town funnel into Central High. And, yes, Central has a good mix of students from all economic and social situations. Central is located in the “inner city,” near downtown and adjacent to some of those poor areas. Jason, I think, was trying to make some sort of disparaging comment about “inner city” schools but RC Central is one of the best schools in the state because of its socio-economic and racial diversity.
He was disparaging “inner city” students about their English skills. He never expanded on that, but I suspect he was trying to make some racial or ethnic slam without actually saying it.
I knew the Principal at Bergquist quite well, and she told me that the turnover in that school was big, with so many of the students living in temporary quarters in that strip of old motels on E. North St. Rapid is too small to have an “inner city” in the conventional sense, e.g., South Central in L.A. It definitely has a population that conforms with the economic and social issues that are common to “inner cities,” though. Agree with you on Central, as I go to a lot of events there. Their drama dept.’s production of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” a few months ago was wonderful.
Donald is an idiot.
I am stating a fact that you generally don’t get a good job if you speak ghetto English. It’s not a slam, it’s a fact.
The fault of that lies with the parents and teachers.
Keeping in mind that this is Cory’s blog and that he sets the rules, until he states that out-of-state commenters should be limited or banned, grudz and Jason can sit down and shut the hell up.
John T., early in this conversation I suggested that Jason’s reference to “inner city” schools was actually about black students in south Chicago schools. Jason said he wasn’t making a racial reference, but when we think of inner city schools we indeed think of black students.
The elementary schools you mentioned in Rapid City likely have heavy Indian enrollments.
You should get out of SD sometime Roger.
Nobody cares that out of State people post here.
I’m just letting them know they are wasting their time with their opinions and lies here.
White guys speak ghetto English also.
You should quit while you are behind.
Ah, the barely cloaked racism of Jason oozes out. What about the English spoken by, oh, Appalachian whites? Do you have something against coal mining jobs filled by people who talked “hillbilly,” or is your faux superiority just limited to black folk, Jason? Southside Chicago had many manufacturing jobs that paid good wages. These were filled by blacks who migrated up from the South after the civil war and during the great migration. Blacks in Chicago had no choice about where they lived, Jason. Until the 1970s there was housing discrimination, so blacks were concentrated in “ghettos.”
Jazz, blues, R& B, rock and roll, soul, funk, rap. Think of all the art people with hard times and black skin developed with “ghetto English.” The language of creativity is what I would call it.
Right on, Roger. Grudz has been begging Cory for a job as his campaign manager. His first suggestion to help win against Sen. Novstrup is to limit free speech on the blog by “tampering down the insaner out-of-state-name-callers.” I’m willing to do whatever it takes to help.
~ Mr. grudznick. You know we’re Facebook friends (as you are with Roger) and if there’s anything you want to say to me, send me a message. If you don’t know how that works or feel apprehensive with new things, just comment on anything I put on my Facebook page. Always glad to hear your point of view. PS … Your buddy Larry Kurtz has been less than complimentary when discussing you and your religion on other blogs, lately. Should I give him a message from you?
We have a plethora of obstructionist idiots here, as you say including os Ryan Pearson happy Jason grdz spencer some educated experienced but all knee jerk Republican misinformed idiots for the most part. I kno Ryan you are a liberal.😀 Act like it.
Inner city included canyon lake elementary, on stolen 1200 acres of deeded reversionary Indian land in west rapid. Then wealthy residents with their new homes in the pine hills kicked out the low income hovels so they wouldn’t have to look at poverty and treaty violations.
Porter last Halloween there was a Sioux San walk for all the Indian children who died at the boarding school. Indian country and RCJournals articles describe a little of that history. I am waiting for wealthy RC to be kicked off of those prime 1200 acres. Heather Thompson former US Atty resurfaced that issue after tribal elders for years kept bringing it up at city council meetings. The Winona Club.
No question they are, Roger.
If Cory ever REALLY wants to win he’ll have to stop insulting all the time. I’m not convinced he does in exchange for giving that up as a consequence the blog attracts like-minded people to some extent, but he’s not gonna win South Dakota voters this way. This might be what Grutz is trying to say. It’s so “The Way We Were” Redford told Streisand “you had them” while giving her speech but she had to lash out rather than embrace the moment it’s the magical thing Bill Clinton was so good at and Hillary such a disaster. Bill could smile and charm his opponents Hillary was too proud.
To paraphrase Harry Truman, ‘Cory tells the truth, people only think it is an insult’.
I consider it an insult to have 3 inept republican representatives in Washington, D.C.
But Roger (based on our environment, experiences, etc) we all have our own truth and to some extent most successful politicians have wiggle room on that. At least a little!!! It’s called compromise not against your integrity but some flexibility and understanding of other people’s perspectives.
grudz, some of us more insaner liberals DO live in SD and always have. It’s just that we’re so freaking few and far between, you don’t hear us over the roar of the hot wind from the . . .um. . .others.
Retired educators and Government officials especially retired Lawmakers would like to join me in creating a curriculum geared for anyone planning to run to public office. The questions will consist of civic education and some will consist of Foreign civics as well. I have been so frustrated and embarrassed at how little some members know. I like how the British Parliament functions. Everyone is on the floor ready to debate. Whereas here you may see one or three on either the House or Senate.
Considering your comments about environment, experiences, etc. South Dakota is hardly sensitive to hate speech and insults.
In South Dakota and the rest of the nation we have endured a year and a half of campaign rhetoric and two years of the Donald Trump’s presidency.
In that period Trump has managed to insult every woman and minority group we know of.
Voters continue to support this despicable man and hate he carries and encourages.
I’ve seen Cory have rational discussions with other bloggers and republican politicians where their opinions were respected by each other.
When politicians do and say stupid things they deserve to be insulted.
I assume you are speaking of Mrs. C., who was Principal at E.B. Bergquist for many years. She was a gem, and perfect for that school. My daughter was there K-4th grade, and it was a great school. The teachers were excellent, and all worked together. Mrs. C. made sure that happened. What I liked about the school was the pronoun “we” was used all the time. My daughter would come home and say, “Daddy, look what WE did in school today.” Students felt that everyone cared about everyone. As you indicated the mobility in that school was very high due to the homeless population and families going back and forth between Rapid City and the reservations. Sometimes that creates problems, but the teachers and students were so accepting of new people.
Hap, I’m more interested in telling the truth than in winning by pandering to thin-skinned ignoramuses who want us to ignore the fact of their ignoramity.
Civics stickers solve nothing. Proposing a bill to give civics stickers to 18-year-olds is a waste of Legislative time.
I, too, have a love of the British Parliament. They have real debates and hold their leaders accountable. They shout down the Prime Minister and then you hear, “Orderrrrrr,!” And then that funny guy who is like our Speaker, but sitting down, pokes fun at one of the shouters.
You just get the feeling that these people are serious about issues. Here it’s mostly just some guys droning on to an empty chamber. Maybe they have their empty chamber times, too, but we don’t get to see that.
I love that sense, too, Donald, that those British Parliamentarians are serious about issues. That’s what civics is all about, getting citizens to give that much of a darn about real issues. We need more legislators like that. Legislators proposing stickers and presuming to dictate how to teach are not serious about the issues.
Maybe if they didn’t create an environment in which politically aware teachers are afraid to speak their minds about public issues, they’d get more vibrant civics courses and more engaged youth.
If they learn about civics, they may learn that gerrymandering is wrong and women’s rights matter and South Dakota may well turn blue. Go Kristi!
It’s just demographics outside of your control and forces Democrats in our state to compromise or lose. The Republican coalition is so large they can be stupid and get away with it. Cory gets to do whatever he wants personally I learn a lot from the blog even if I don’t always agree. It’s a teaching tool to some extent, and debate, but if you want to win you got to hug those Repubs!!! If you prefer to call out the ignoramuses don’t give up your day job.
PS – The Deb Disclaimer: Not All. There are lots of reasonable Republicans out there who need engagement. Those are people you can reach you’ll never change a far out right winger.
I am an equal opportunity hugger. But I don’t have to hug ideas that won’t work. I don’t have to preface every critique with, “Gee, Republican, you’re such a swell guy with such a big heart and beautiful eyes, but….” I prefer to focus on analyzing ideas. If Republicans keep taking that analysis of their ideas as a personal attack, that’s on them, not me. Hap, you should spend more time persuading the Republicans to stop shooting messengers like Yvonne Taylor and spend more time crafting better policy.
Speaker Haugaard should forfeit his civics sticker for banning a citizen from the House floor for exercising her right to free speech.