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Noem Tightens Grip on Social Studies Review, Replacing Experienced Sly with Sycophant Conservative Dentist on State Education Board

So whom would you choose to serve on the state Board of Education Standards: a woman who has experience teaching and making policy and whose leadership has just been reaffirmed by the board, or a retired dentist who got tired of working on social studies standards and quit?

If you’re Governor Kristi Noem, you pick the dentist:

Governor Kristi Noem has decided against reappointing Jacqueline Sly of Rapid City to the South Dakota Board of Education Standards and chose Richard Meyer of Rapid City as the replacement.

That development came to public light Friday during the board’s meeting in Rapid City. There wasn’t any public announcement.

Sly, a retired special-education teacher and former legislator, was the board’s president prior to the removal.

…Meyer, a dentist, attended the meeting. He abstained from voting on several sets of updated standards for fine arts and for career and technical education.

Meyer resigned last year from a state workgroup that had proposed new standards for social studies. He expressed support for the governor.

…Sly meanwhile had been re-selected as the board’s chairman for another year. She presided over several meetings. Then one of Noem’s staff telephoned Sly on Friday, April 29, to tell her she wouldn’t be reappointed [Bob Mercer, “Governor Replaces Sly with Meyer on K-12 Board,” KELO-TV, updated 2022.05.08].

Meyer joined Representative Sue Peterson (R-13/Sioux Falls) in quitting the K-12 social studies standards workgroup on its last working day last July:

…both resigned during the final day the Social Studies Standards Revision Work group met.

“I’ve decided I’m not going to make any statements, but I will say I fully support Gov. Noem’s call for a quality education system that focuses on what makes America special,” Meyer told the Argus Leader Monday [Joe Sneve, “Conservatives Resign from Group Retooling South Dakota Social Studies Standards,” Sioux Falls Argus Leader, 2021.07.13].

In September, when Noem suspended the standards revision process, Meyer and Peterson told Fox News, falsely, that the workgroup had produced standards somehow invoke critical race theory and action civics:

“Like Gov. Noem, I signed the 1776 pledge,” she said. “The proposed standards do not align with that pledge, nor do they align with what I believe most South Dakota parents want for their children. Gov. Noem’s postponement of the approval process is the right thing to do. It will allow her to get the right people in place to create standards that align with what the Governor says she wants.”

Dr. Rich Meyer, who also left the committee, told Fox News: “We weren’t working on education standards compatible with the 1776 pledge that Gov. Noem signed, which rejects Critical Race Theory and Action Civics” [Sam Dorman, “South Dakota’s Noem Delays Social Studies Standards amid Concerns over Left-Wing Influences,” Fox News, 2021.09.24].

Meyer is now part of the state board that will be asked to approve the new social studies standards being rubber-stamped by a new, smaller, educator-light but Republican-heavy committee handpicked by Governor Noem last month. South Dakota Strong, a Black Hills activist group promoting mainstream Republican candidates, posted praise yesterday for Noem’s appointment of their neighbor Meyer:

South Dakota Strong, FB, 2022.05.07.
South Dakota Strong, FB, 2022.05.07.

Of course, South Dakota Strong also cheers the Rapid City school board’s push to destroy books, so we know their real aim, like Meyer’s and Noem’s, is Republican thought control.

Related Republicans? “Rich” and “Meyer” are pretty common names, but one “Rich Meyer” of 4160 Penrose Place, Rapid City, SD 57702 is running for Republican precinct committeeman in Pennington Precinct 3–4. Meyer is competing with Lynn R. Kading of 4580 S Glenview Place, Rapid City, SD 57702 for that convention-voting position. The same Rich Meyer was also an early investor in Marty Jackley’s gubernatorial campaign, giving $500 in 2016. One Rich Meyer of Rapid City was also among those invited to Governor Dennis Daugaard’s pheasant hunt in 2011.


  1. Richard Schriever 2022-05-08 10:07

    “…..create standards that align with what the Governor says she wants.”

    This is the whole truth of what is happening in SD government. Note – it is not what is good for the state, the people, the truth, the future, education, the children, anyone’s health and well-being, our ability to be economically competitive, or anything else. It is all about “what the governor wants”, period.

    Her last name might as well be Putin.

  2. P. Aitch 2022-05-08 14:30

    Raising a state full of future Amazon warehouse workers?
    College is hard enough without having to do remedial history and literature courses.
    Your Governor is adding to the brain drain not mitigating it.

  3. Jake 2022-05-08 14:43

    P. Aitch-after all, look at who elected her! Already brain ‘deads’ who saw a pretty faced cowgirl in tight jeans waving the flag riding a palomino pony and promising anything to anyone to get elected. An “R” alongside the name was all it took besides the look. All hat, no cattle.

  4. Arlo Blundt 2022-05-08 15:25

    Jackie Sly is an education professional with the best reputation. This is totalitarianism, again.

  5. leslie 2022-05-08 18:34

    What ALEC type org or conservative think tank or billionaire is financing and creating these “social studies standards” which protect us from the truth (like CRT)?

    Either Noem is padding her resume for her nxt political stair step, or she is building the DEMOCRATIC opposition in intelligent SD voters!

  6. Mark Anderson 2022-05-08 19:14

    Come on kiddies, just contact me and I’ll tell you where to get the truth. It’s easy to look up. Go ahead and whitewash things Kristi it won’t work. What do you say Ian, let your fury loose.

  7. RoughRider 2022-05-08 23:12

    UffDa, what is wr9ng with the Kool aid she id drinking.

    This sounds like Dumbing Down our Childten. As a former president said, “I like Dumb People.”

    My 2 Cents

  8. JNNelsen 2022-05-09 10:41

    Jacqueline Sly is of the highest integrity. I worked with her on education policy and school board issues when I served on the RCAS Board of Ed from 2010 – 2016. Ms. Sly is the kind of education leader this state needs. Full disclosure, I am a life long democrat.
    Our children lose. When will it be enough and reasonable people and their families leave this state. I suspect were real estate affordable in some of the more moderate states surrounding us, many would have left already.

  9. O 2022-05-09 12:53

    The victors write the history.

  10. Joshua dodge 2022-05-09 18:50

    An idiot wrote this article.

  11. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-05-10 06:50

    An idiot did not write this article. A lazy individual more interested in cheap personal attacks than a discussion of the issue of public interest raised in the article wrote the above comment.

  12. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-05-10 06:53

    Anne, whether Kristi deserves her college degree is a divisive concept. She will not allow discussion of that divisive concept.

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