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Noem Cherry-Picks Data—South Dakota #23, Not #1, for Early Education

Governor Kristi Noem is misusing data again. She went on Twitter Tuesday to tout a WalletHub post saying “South Dakota ranks #1 for Early Education Quality“.

Kristi Noem, tweet, 2023.08.16.
Kristi Noem, tweet, 2023.08.16.

She tweets that “our children are succeeding” because “We’re putting Freedom and families first in education”. But we’re far from first in education. As Rae Yost points out, WalletHub says we’re #23:

Governor Kristi Noem is correct, a recent WalletHub study did rank South Dakota No. 1 when it comes to early education quality. But what the Governor didn’t share in her Aug. 16 Kristi Noem X account post is the same study ranked the state 23rd overall [Rae Yost, “Gov. Kristi Noem’s No. 1 Post Only Part of Story on Early Education,” KELO-TV, 2023.08.17].

And while our early education programs are really good, not many South Dakota kids get that good education, because South Dakota remains one of the only states with no public pre-K program:

The WalletHub study ranked South Dakota 37th in access to early education and 41st in resources and economic support.

…The Bipartisan Policy Center, a Washington, D.C., think tank organization that focuses on bipartisan approaches to issues, has also ranked states’ ability to oversee federal and state funding in early childhood education. In January, the policy center ranked South Dakota 50th. It ranked the state 47th in 2018. Washington, D.C., was included in the evaluation of all 50 states both years.

A study released by 24/7 Wall Street in June 2021, ranked South Dakota 47th worst for early childhood education. It evaluated several metrics including state spending, enrollment and others.

…WalletHub cited a FiveThirtyEight report that South Dakota is one of four states that does not offer some sort of state-run program for four-year-old children.

…About 20% of the state’s three and four year old children attended public early childhood education in 2021, according to the FFYF [First Five Years Fund]. State- and federally-funded early childhood opportunities serve more than 11,351 children and families in South Dakota, FFYF said [Yost, 2023.08.17].

Expect Team Noem to impugn Yost’s journalistic integrity, as they have fried Kevin Woster and Seth Tupper for unfavorable coverage. But don’t expect them to rectify their cherry-picking or fund pre-K education.

7 Comments

  1. P. Aitch 2023-08-18

    Free Pre-School in Colorado starting in 2024 – The program, funded in part by a voter-approved nicotine tax, will offer 10 to 15 hours a week of tuition-free preschool to 4-year-olds statewide, with some eligible for 30 hours a week. In addition, some 3-year-olds will be eligible for 10 hours a week.

  2. All Mammal 2023-08-18

    Like Jenny’s honorable Gov Walz pointed out in regards to the republican whining over MN’s universal free school lunch, programs that offer assistance that require application and cut-offs and constant qualification never last.

    Universal pre-k for SD’s tots should be automatic and state funded, regardless of income, just like public school. That is how we become #1 in early childhood education.

    I cannot help but be totally jelly of your governor, Ms. Jenny. He’s such a doll and I adore him. Being generous to kids and standing up to stingy haters is hot. Sending kids’ lunch assistance back and telling them no free lunch is buttass ugly.

  3. e platypus onion 2023-08-18

    What did we learn about Noem today, kiddies? That’s right, she’s a lye-yer!

  4. Arlo Blundt 2023-08-18

    Governor Noem is distributing more taffy to the public.

  5. Algebra 2023-08-20

    My 3 year old granddaughter doesn’t go to preschool, she attends a home-based daycare. Friday evening she proudly showed me the coloring pages she did for the letters G and F that day.
    Her older brother is 5, will be starting kindergarten in the fall, but he has already learned to read.
    Yes, there are wide differences in the kinds of early childhood education the kids are receiving. I have met parents who had no idea their kids were behind until they entered kindergarten and found out all the other children had learned the alphabet, numbers, colors, etc. Perhaps a better solution is public education for the parents, so they will know what they should be working on.

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