Today is the last day to submit public comment on the proposed Michigan/Hillsdale standards for South Dakota’s K-12 social studies curriculum for consideration at Monday’s public hearing before the Board of Education Standards in Aberdeen. It’s not the last day for any public comment; the Board should take comment prior to the three subsequent standards hearings in Sioux Falls, Rapid City, and Pierre over the next six months.
South Dakota Voices for Justice is encouraging South Dakotans to submit written comment today or register to testify in person or via Zoom Monday to urge the BOES not to adopt the Michigan/Hillsdale standards. SD Voices for Justice offers these eight succinct points of opposition:
- A committee of 40+ educators from across South Dakota had already developed the Social Studies Standards.
- Noem inserted herself into this process, dismantled the committee and rewrote the standards with a hand picked committee of only 3 people certified to be teachers in South Dakota.
- Noem hired a notorious right wing conservative to “consult” on standards paying him $200,000.
- One of the 3 people certified to be a teacher on the committee is now no longer backing the standards.
- These standards have been heavily criticized by South Dakotan educators as they do not reflect realistic expectations for the grade levels and are based only on memorization and regurgitation of information.
- The standards do not teach children how to process and evaluate the complex ideas they are expected to have memorized.
- The Social Studies Standards have been transformed to fit Governor Noem’s political agenda.
- Politics have no place in our children’s classrooms and directly affects our teacher shortage in South Dakota [first linked corrected by DFP; South Dakota Voices for Justice, e-mail alert, 2022.09.14].
All of SDVJ’s points are valid: Governor Kristi Noem rejected the good work of South Dakota educators so she could pervert our K-12 social studies standards into just one more cheap campaign prop. But this perversion is no mere flash-in-the-pan tweet or dumb “Meth. We’re On It.™” slogan; these radical, rubber-stamped, poorly written, illegal, conceptually flawed, and educationally inappropriate standards will disrupt our classrooms, harm our kids, and do lasting damage to the quality of our K-12 education system.