Anti-Common Core Bill Clears South Dakota House Education Committee

PierreSD_CapitolThe South Dakota House Education Committee advanced another anti-Common Core bill on an 8 to 7 vote last Friday.  House Bill 1204 would require the South Dakota Board of Education to obtain legislative approval before adopting any further Common Core standards, and to repeal a provision requiring the board to conduct certain public hearings.

The bill was introduced by State Representatives Jim Bolan (R-Canton), Blaine Campbell (R-Rapid City), Scott Craig (R-Rapid City), Brock Greenfield (R-Clark), Don Haggar (R-Sioux Falls), Steve Hickey (R-Sioux Falls), Don Kopp (R-Rapid City), Isaac Latterell (R-Tea), Patty Miller (R-McCook Lake), Stace Nelson (R-Fulton), Betty Olson (R-Prairie City), Nancy Rasmussen (R-Hurley), James Schaefer (R-Kennebec), Jim Stalzer (R-Sioux Falls), Manny Steele (R-Sioux Falls), and Mike Verchio (R-Hill City).  It is also being sponsored in South Dakota Senate (I’m not sure how South Dakota works, if it is an identical companion bill, or they will move this bill through the Senate), but State Senators Tim Begalka (R-Clear Lake), Phil Jensen (R-Rapid City), David Omdahl (R-Sioux Falls) and Ernie Otten (R-Tea).

This bill is being heard on the House floor today.  The Capitol Journal reports that the South Dakota Secretary of Education, Melanie Schopp, is spouting off the usual propaganda.

Secretary of Education Melanie Schopp opposed the bill, saying the Common Core Standards do not dictate how or what teachers should teach. The Common Core Standards are based on a set of nationwide expectations currently focused on English and math.

“The thing that’s great about the Common Core that is different than the standards we’ve had previously, is that they include the ability to think creatively, solve real world problems, make effective arguments and engage effectively in debates,” Schopp said.

State Representative Bolan who authored the bill said, “One of the founding principles of American education is that states and local citizens will determine how their schools are going to be run and what will be taught in each local entity.  The Common Core Standards movement is an attempt to circumvent this long-standing tradition of American education. The adoption of the standards threatens to undo a portion of American Exceptionalism.”