One thing Governor Kristi Noem didn’t get yesterday was her civics test. Wrangling until the last day, the Senate finally killed House Bill 1066 on a 13–21 vote. High school students will thus not be subjected to a fifty-question civics quiz the real tangible benefits of which not one legislator could explain.
Noem’s rushed anti-protest bills show she doesn’t really want active civic participation in South Dakota anyway, so she won’t shed any honest tears over this loss.
But note that her entire civics agenda, the one thing every member of the Legislature ovated during her State of the State Address, foundered mightily. Every bill purporting to expand civics education lost. Rep. Fred Deutsch’s silly civics stickers plan died early. The Legislature stripped the civics test from the college “intellectual diversity” bill. Senator Jim Bolin’s proposal to survey civics education died yesterday… probably because it would have meant admitting that Governor Noem was going off half-cocked about the need for more civics education without any data showing we had any such lack.
And now Noem’s poorly written high school civics test is dead.
With the entire Noem civics agenda toast, it looks like her choice for interim Education Secretary, Dr. Ben Jones, who was supposed to bring laserlike focus to civics education, has been a complete bust. Time to bring in Tony Venhuizen to get things done!