South Dakota’s New Standards Are a Rebrand

When I wrote last week about the media reaction to a lack of public comment about the “new” South Dakota Academic Standards I said, “I have not reviewed the proposed math and ELA standards in comparison to the Common Core yet. Because of reviews and revisions that other states have completed, I’m not hopeful for significant change. I would like to be wrong though.”

I am not wrong and I am not surprised.

South Dakota Secretary of Education Don Kirkegaard said, “Common Core standards in South Dakota are officially gone.”

At best Kirkegaard’s statement is misleading. Megan Raposa with the Sioux Falls Argus-Leader reports:

But remnants of the controversial standards remain. More than remnants, really.

About 60 percent of the K-12 English language arts and math standards approved by the state Board of Education in Pierre last week were taken verbatim from Common Core, according to an Argus Leader analysis.

A line-by-line review showed that, in addition to the bullet points taken verbatim, those changed within a few words of the original Common Core language made up nearly 75 percent of the state’s updated standards.

“We don’t call it ‘Common Core,’ but the ghosts are there,” said Art Marmorstein, a Northern State University professor and advocate for local control in education.

The new standards, called simply “South Dakota State Standards,” will be fully implemented this fall.

The Associated Press reported the standards “mirror” Common Core:

Kirkegaard says it’s not unusual for standards to look similar after a revision.

Nicole Osmundson is a Sioux Falls parent who helped review the new standards. She says if the standards mirror what they were before, it’s because they’re good standards.

No, they were awful standards. They needed to be jettisoned and the standards writing team needed to start from scratch. Not only is this process and the rhetoric coming out of Kirkegaard’s mouth deceptive, but it’s also just lazy.

If they wanted to have some sort of baseline they should have started with their standards pre-Common Core and gone from there or used Massachusetts’ pre-Common Core ELA standards or California’s previous math standards.

Anything other than Common Core, not that the Every Students Succeeds Act makes that easy. It requires a state’s statewide assessment to be aligned to their standards. South Dakota uses Smarter Balanced as their statewide assessment. Abby Javurek, the Director of Assessment and Accountability with the South Dakota Department of Education, is the chair of their board.

There has not been any talk (that I’ve seen) about South Dakota changing its assessment and without changing their assessment they would be in violation of federal law. The rebrand was baked in.

The whole review and rewrite process was nothing but a farce.

One thought on “South Dakota’s New Standards Are a Rebrand

  1. Well he is not lying Common Core is gone in SD. Common Core is nothing but a copyrighted name. Change one word in the standards and you can no longer call them Common Core. So he is using deceptive semantics just like every other state that did the exact same thing. TN did it too. But again we need to stop saying they are lying because they are not. We just need to expose the deception they are using.

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